Council asks police to toughen up graffiti punishments after tagger gets caution

Posted On 05 Dec 2019 at 1:32 pm

The LABR tag, spotted on a wall in Oxford Street this week

The council asking police to toughen up its punishments for graffiti vandals after a tagger who admitted scrawling his name over the city 80 times was given a caution and a day’s unpaid work.

The 22-year-old was caught scrawling the LABR tag across shops in North Street in the early hours of April 3 by a CCTV operator.

His tags were so prevalent in the city centre, they had even spawned a parody Twitter account, @LabradoodleG (bio: I make Brighton more beautiful each time I try to write my name on a wall. Brighton, The Edge, Whatever You Don’t Rule Me).

At the end of October, police announced they had tracked him down and given him a community caution.

But the lenient punishment led to an outcry – and now the council and police have met to discuss different ways of dealing with criminal damage caused by tagging.

At a meeting of the Goldsmid local action team last month, Brighton and Hove City Council’s assistant environment director Rachel Chasseaud was asked about the “mild penalty”.

She answered that too was disappointed by this and had expected prosecution for criminal damage.

She told residents she had not yet met with the police to discuss this, and was “looking at other prosecution routes which may carry a higher penalty and offer a more compelling deterrent.”

That meeting has now taken place, and Sussex Police says it is looking into different ways of dealing with graffiti, including getting offenders to remove their tags.

The council says it wants to see the toughest action possible taken and is drawing up its own database of tagging in the city so that action can be taken against offenders for all their graffiti vandalism when caught.

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: “We are aware of the council’s comment about the caution and we have met with the council to discuss this further.

“This also includes looking at different options of dealing with graffiti offences including the restorative justice/community payback options related to the offences.

“This will include offenders removing graffiti.”

A spokesman for the council said: “We are developing a massive database of multiple tagging so that when we catch an offender we can use it to cross reference and ensure we take the toughest action possible.”

The council is currently holding a public consultation on proposals to tackle “the scourge of graffiti and tagging in the city”, which runs until 15 December.

  1. JOHN MINNS Reply

    I see, the council and police have met up to discuss things with no mention about asking what the people of Brighton think, No doubt we will get a response ”eventually’ from the ”powers that be’.

    In their own time of course, which means no time soon. They are hoping perhaps that if they string this out, their’ retirements, or maybe being moved on to another sector or department or even another country will happen first so there will be no need to get back to the Plebians.let’s be fair though, they have only had five years or so to come up with a solution. No time at all really .. Well, I will tell you what I think and my time-saving suggestion if implemented, I believe we, will be able to sort out this business very very quickly. It goes like this.
    : Graffititager First offence. Six months in prison, no special privileges no tv no games, no gym, basic prison food, solitary confinement,made to wash. Problem solved.

    • Chris Reply

      To which I would add – being made to clean off graffiti.

  2. Robin Hislop Reply

    Another culprit is Paste who has the dubious distinction of being the first person to tag 150 year old flint walls all the way down Ditchling Road and surroundings. Think about that: for 150 years people have managed to restrain themselves from degrading the environment that they live in, but this twat feels entitled to do it. I call taggers out: if it’s so important to you to announce your existence to the world, why don’t you tag your real name? Cowards.

  3. ' Reply

    I Am Afraid getting the culprits to clean up the graffiti will not work . (It is not as simple as that, There are health and safety issues as removal of some types of grafity would require a jet washer or sand blaster or, the use of strong chemicals. Some years back we had the ‘Payback team’ to do a general clean up around our building( not graffiti).Six offenders were brought along, plus three paid council workers ( one who had to be a first aider) to oversee the work. There were three breaks including free lunch suplied, toilet facilities were laid on . We then had a belligerent workforce that was unskilled and couldnt give a damm. And, the resedents had to clean up after them!! A complete waste of time resources and money.

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