Graffiti: Urban Areas

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 4th April 2018.

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Photo of David Simpson David Simpson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department is taking steps to support the removal of graffiti tagging to clean up (a) towns and (b) cities in the UK.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We have recently increased the fixed penalties that local authorities can issue for littering, graffiti and fly-posting. From 1 April 2018, the maximum fixed penalty will nearly double from £80 to £150, and the default penalty will increase from £75 to £100. From April 2019, the minimum fixed penalty will also increase from £50 to £65.

Councils retain the income from these Fixed Penalty Notices, which must be spent on their functions relating to keeping land and highways of litter and refuse (including enforcement), and enforcement against graffiti and fly-posting offences. We are clear that any enforcement action must be proportionate and in the public interest.

Graffiti removal is also typical of the types of projects assigned to offenders taking part in Community Payback schemes. Community Rehabilitation Companies are responsible for assigning offenders who have been sentenced to carry out unpaid work as part of their community sentences to specific work assignments, so it would be for local councils to work with the relevant Community Rehabilitation Company to arrange this.

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