Dudley Council spends £100,000 in a year removing graffiti

A Black Country council spent more than £100,000 cleaning up graffiti last year.

Removing graffiti cost Dudley Council thousands of pounds each year
Removing graffiti cost Dudley Council thousands of pounds each year

The figure put Dudley among the highest spenders in the country when it came to removing messages daubed on buildings, despite actual graffiti incidents being much lower than other areas.

Officials in the borough dealt with a total of 346 incidents in 2019, nearly one a day on average.

The total of £103,913 put Dudley Council 15th out of authorities that released data in terms of cash spent on removing graffiti.

But figures showed wild disparities between how much councils were spending to remove graffiti.

Enfield Council in London, for example, spent £65,000, despite recording 2,915 incidents – eight times that of Dudley.

The councils with the highest number of graffiti clean-ups were mostly in London, with Hackney top on a massive 29,236.

However, it cost the authority £300,000 to remove, only three times as much as Dudley, even though there were nearly 29,000 more incidents, according to data released by Structural Repairs.

Leicester was second with 16,144 but again removal costs were low in comparison with Dudley at £160,000.

Walsall Council confirmed it dealt with 85 cases last year, but did not provide the cost, saying it was "part of normal day-to-day duties for our deep cleaning crews".

Other councils in the Black Country, Staffordshire and Shropshire either did not provide the information or said it did not hold it. Lichfield said it did not have a single case.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for public realm at Dudley Council, said: “Without seeing the figures in detail we can’t be sure we’re comparing like for like with other authorities.

"But what I can say is we run a dedicated and efficient team here in Dudley and our costs cover all aspects of the team including the vehicle, equipment and materials.

"The team is responsible for not only the removal of graffiti and flyposting but also the jet washing of services across the borough.

"It goes without saying that graffiti is an act of vandalism that leaves hard-working taxpayers out of pocket.

"We have to spend money cleaning up other people’s mess and that is extremely frustrating.”

More details on the study are available at structuralrepairs.com/graffiti

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