“A white wall is the canvas of a fool” – Unknown Graffiti Writer.
It may seem counter-intuitive for a graffiti removal business such as us to offer tips on graffiti prevention – after all removing graffiti is the raison d’etre of Target Graffiti. Our purpose can be summed up in just three words; graffiti removal Toronto. Therefore why would we want to reduce the amounts of graffiti in the city?
Well, to put it bluntly, there is a surplus of graffiti to keep us busy. On the whole, what we see daily is not the kind of thing that makes it into style magazines or glossy coffee table books. These garbled scrawls and poorly rendered scribbles don’t enhance the city; they don’t make a neighbourhood more hip and even the most staunch advocate of “street art” would struggle to defend them.
Mainly created by bored youth this unrestrained mediocrity and paucity of artistic vision is both visually offensive and – as numerous studies have shown – a gateway to more serious crimes. A university research team in the Netherlands found the presence of graffiti triggers minor anti-social behaviours such as littering. More concerning is their finding graffiti also increases the incidence of street crime, such as theft. If left unchecked graffiti will rapidly spread throughout a neighbourhood and accelerate urban decay.
Related: REMOVING GRAFFITI FROM GLASS
With this in mind, Target Graffiti presents a guide to graffiti prevention. We hope you find some of these tips useful for community work, individual application or suggesting to your municipal representative or local MP.
- Remove Graffiti Fast
Removing fresh graffiti within 48 hours is a primary strategic tool. Removing graffiti rapidly sends a clear message that the neighbourhood does not tolerate graffiti and spraying in the area is waste of time because a large audience will not see the results. This policy is disheartening for the graffiti “artist” who aims to impress others, and they will move to an area that does not take the hardline.
2. Report Graffiti
By dialing 311 or using the online reporting form, residents of Toronto can notify City services to place a work order for graffiti removal. Fulfilment of the work order can take some time and clean-up takes place only if the graffiti is on public property, but the logging of data contributes to official statistics as violation of local bylaws.
3. Create a Community Mural
A particular spot is often repeatedly targeted because of positioning or prime visibility. In these circumstances painting a mural can act as a deterrent. The community can work together or involve an artist to realise their ideas. Targetting of murals is rare, tagging is unlikely and the creative process and painting of the mural can boost community spirit.
4. Alter the Environment
Making changes to the physical environment goes a long way to preventing graffiti in the first place. Natural barriers – such as thorned plants – can be useful in restricting access to walls. Introducing lights may discourage graffiti, hoods for signs and baffles on poles can be installed to serve the same purpose. The Target Graffiti Removal Service team can advise on the specific measures suitable for your property.
5. Take Ownership
Neighbourhoods covered with graffiti and other acts of vandalism – such as broken windows – send out a powerful message. The message is that no one cares, and no one is in control here. In your community groups allocate responsibility for monitoring, reporting and cleaning specific sites to break up the problem into smaller pieces.
6. Ask for Alternatives
Write to your MP and ask what they are doing about the problem and what alternative activities do the local youth have. These activities might feature skill training at youth centres or musical performances, art projects to encourage creative expression in a legitimate manner or community projects such as mural painting.
So the next time you have a need for graffiti removal in Toronto contact us and be such to ask the team about how to implement some of these measures to prevent graffiti and halt urban decay.