Racist graffiti removed in just hours
Published: Thursday 27th September 12
Racist graffiti that appeared on walls in Balham was removed within just hours of it being reported to the council.
The offensive words were scrawled on around half a dozens walls in and around Balham High Road before being reported to the council by a member of the public late on Friday afternoon.
Within three hours of the report being received, staff in the town hall's graffiti removal service had arranged for them to be removed.
Because darkness had fallen by the time the graffiti had been removed, a follow-up check throughout the area on Saturday morning revealed two other locations and these were dealt with immediately.
Staff are continuing to monitor the area in case the offender returns and commits more criminal damage. Anyone who sees offensive graffiti in the area, or indeed any other type, is strongly urged to contact the council straight away.
The graffiti removal service is based in the housing department and last year dealt with more than 1,600 incidents across the borough.
In total nearly 25,000 square metres of graffiti was cleaned up and removed, including nearly 1,000 square metres that was judged racist, abusive or obscene.
The council has a target of removing all offensive forms of graffiti within 24 hours - and this target was met in 99 per cent of these cases last year.
The service is provided to the public free of charge, and reflects the borough's zero tolerance approach towards graffiti. The service was set up in 1994 to tackle and remove graffiti on private property, in the borough's parks and open spaces and also on local housing estates.
To report graffiti, residents and businesses can use the 24-hour telephone hotline (020) 8871 7049, email firstname.lastname@example.org or report it online at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/graffiti. People can also text the word "graffiti" to 07797 805456 telling us where it's located.