Many cities are taking the initiative to protect large walls and other graffiti targets with a number of graffiti prevention strategies. The City of Moreland, which includes many of Melbourne’s inner-north graffiti hotspots such as Brunswick and Coburg, spends approximately $400,000 each year on graffiti removal (see full article). A recent poll found that 71% of City of Moreland residents feel that graffiti should not be tolerated.

Murals and public wall art have become a popular graffiti prevention strategy, with 54% of residents feeling that public art had provided benefit to the community. These murals ensure that no blank space remains on the wall and have artistic flair which most graffiti vandals will not try to compete with.

Quality pieces of wall art, such as the image below, will not only reduce the level of graffiti vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the area, they add character and help to build or strengthen community.

he reason behind their success is that they avoid glamourising graffiti. Some cities have attempted to control graffiti with tactics such as public graffiti walls or professionally painted murals with writing in graffiti-style fonts. Some believe that such actions may be perceived putting graffiti on a pedestal and therefore are counterproductive. Unfortunately, in some circles of youth pop-culture, graffiti vandals are seen as artists and are looked up to by impressionable teenagers – let’s avoid adding fuel to this!

The City of Moreland are in the process of drafting a new graffiti plan to ensure that public art is of a suitable standard. The art would require “the property owner’s permission to display the work and must not be offensive, such as using swear words or any negative cultural, racial, sexual or religious connotations…”

The view of the Graffiti Eaters is as follows:

Public Art has its place and can really brighten up and area and make it feel homely – but it must be done in such a way that it is clearly not graffiti and not in any way encouraging graffiti.

That starts with the wording and psychology. They are ‘art murals’ not ‘legal graffiti’, ‘authorised graffiti’ or any other label that mentions graffiti.
The style looks like a painting, not a graffiti tag or word.
The mural image fits in with the scenery and is not controversial for the area in terms of its colouring or what it represents.

Let’s face it, many of the people who engage in graffiti have the skillset to produce quality murals fitting to an area. The question though is – are they interested in creating this kind of community asset?

To speak to a graffiti removal professional, contact The Graffiti Eaters.