Tackling Graffiti in Brighton

Brighton and Hove City Council have come up with a new way of getting rid of Graffiti tags by giving people a chance to make new works of art instead around the city.


Dozens of telephone junction boxes with graffiti on them around Brighton streets are being transformed into mini masterpieces instead.

The decorated green telephone junction boxes have been popping up all over central Brighton as youngsters from the Brighton & Hove City Council's Youth Offending team, take part in the latest Artscape project

Martin Middleton, who runs the Artscape project, explained: "It all started last year when we finished a mural on the Open Market in Brighton. We asked the council's graffiti officer if we could paint the boxes in front to visually build them into the mural.

The boxes were a constant target for illegal graffiti and we felt that positive, well designed images would help to deter this."

The eye-catching designs were so popular with the local community that the council commissioned the youngsters to take on more of the city's junction boxes.

Martin and the young offenders group set about creating a series of music-based stencil designs that would fit the shape of the boxes and reflect the 'retro chic' of music and fashion in Brighton.

Martin added:  "We've had great feedback from members of the public walking past-saying 'we love these!' Others are taking photographs, posting them on 'flickr' and telling each other where to find the latest one!"

“It's great for the young offenders as it helps them work through their community service hours whilst giving them a chance to have a visual influence on a city jammed full of commercial signs and signals. It helps them understand boundaries, consent and arts' place in society."

Graffiti officer Sarah Leach said that the artwork was already proving to be a deterrent to graffiti taggers.

“We were happy to support this project as these cabinets are a constant target for illegal graffiti and we know from experience that legal art is a deterrent to tagging.

“Illegal graffiti not only has a detrimental effect on the local environment but can encourage or increase other forms of anti social behaviour."

She added that the council also runs an 'Adopt a Box' scheme when residents can adopt their local green box, painting over any graffiti.

Neal Walshe, of Virgin Media said: "We are delighted to be working with Brighton & Hove City Council to combat the anti-social menace of graffiti. We are confident that our joint efforts will result in a significant improvement in the local environment".

Click on the photos below to see the changes