Council chiefs in South Tyneside have called for the public’s help in cracking down on graffiti after the high cost of clean-up was revealed.
They have confirmed over £100,000 is spent a year removing obscenities and other markings – a price they admit they can ill afford.
That equates to 300 reported cases, with a further 1,200 incidents removed by council teams before being alerted by residents.
Around 20 percent of the total involves the use of obscenities which are prioritised and quickly removed from view.
Councillor Moira Smith, the council’s Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: “Graffiti is unsightly and gives a negative impression of an area.
“It is a shame that a minority of people choose to spoil our environment in this way.
“Our Handy Estates team is extremely vigilant and proactive which means the impact on our communities is kept to a minimum.”
She added: “However, cleaning up graffiti places an additional and unnecessary burden on our already extremely stretched resources.
“We spend an estimated £100,000 a year removing graffiti from our neighbourhoods.
“I am sure taxpayers would agree that there are much more worthwhile causes to spend our limited funds on.
“We would encourage members of the public to contact us with any information about instances of graffiti.”
Coun Smith said that every year several instances of graffiti were transformed by community support groups and incorporated into positive social projects.
She called on the public to act fast to alert the council to incidents by calling 0191 427 7000.