Locals to guard against railway graffitiBy Hugh Fort
August 29, 2012
Plans to stop taggers daubing graffiti alongside train lines are gathering pace after the community decided to put a stop to the vandalism.
Neighbours sick of seeing the tags around Harmans Water and Martins Heron have formed an anti-graffiti group to tackle the issue.
Thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ and private money are spent cleaning up graffiti each year and the group wants to reduce the amount around the area.
At the first meeting of the Graffiti Working sub-committee, formed by members of Harmans Water, Martins Heron, The Warren and The Parks Neighbourhood Action Group, neighbours said they believed taggers actively target ‘blank canvasses’ like walls and fences, near train lines, to show off their ‘artwork’ to people travelling on the train.
Chairman Nigel Dumbrell has carried out his own research into the problem and said one of the aims was having all graffiti removed within 24 hours.
He has seen schemes in Sydney, Australia, and The London Borough of Southwark, which have been very successful and hopes people in Bracknell Forest can follow suit.
He added he believed there needed to be education to ensure tagging does not happen in the future.
Members of the group include Janet Dowlman of Bracknell Forest Council, Sergeant Matt Gray of Thames Valley Police and Francis Egelton from Thames Water.
Francis said there had been some tagging on the company’s filter tanks at Ascot Sewerage in The Warren, which is visible from the train line. The graffiti was removed and then re-sprayed within a couple of weeks.
The committee suggested Thames Water could plant a block of screening trees to hide the site from the railway line and Nigel said it was looking to do this in the near future.
At the meeting on July 31 at Bracknell Forest Council’s offices in Time Square, the committee agreed Martins Heron train station was a problem area as it was easy to get into and featured a number of clean walls and fences – perfect for tagging.
Other ideas to stop the problem is encouraging people to have fast-growing plants on fences, special paint and CCTV close to the train station.
The group currently has no funding behind it to carry out its work, but is investigating various possible revenue streams.
After the meeting, Mr Dumbrell said: “I am very pleased with the response. Since the meeting we have had a number of people come to us with ideas. It seems like some of the things we discussed could go ahead, which is excellent.
“We believe part of the problem is people coming in from other areas on the train, which we will monitor with the police.”
To get involved call Nigel on (01344) 412 045 or email Nigeldumbrell@aol.com.