80 ‘pieces of graffiti’ removed by council in just six months 

Graffiti in Ely

Offensive graffiti reported in Ely this year by our readers. - Credit: Archant

A ‘zero tolerance’ by East Cambridgeshire District Council has fallen on deaf ears as the number of reported incidents  of graffiti rocketed between April and September. 

New figures released by the council show that in those six months there were 80 “pieces of graffiti” removed from Ely and the surrounding towns.  

By comparison in the 12 months to April 2021, the council removed 93 “pieces of graffiti” from across the district.  

The figures were provided by the council in a response to a Freedom of Information request.  

The figures reflect a startling rise in the past 18 months.  

In the whole of 2019/2020, the council removed 20 although the previous year there had been the need to remove 76 pieces of graffiti.  

In 2017, for part of the year, the figure was 38.  

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The council was asked for numbers and costs of removal for the past 10 years but says it only collected data from 2017. Before then it was “done ad-hoc by a different contractor”. 

“The cost of removing graffiti is not calculated separately as the contract to remove this is part of an overall package for cleansing provided by the current contractor,” says the council.  

In April the council revealed they had begun a crackdown on offensive graffiti as part of a collaboration with police. 

The collaboration, named The East Cambs Community Safety Partnership, is clamping down following a spate of incidents in Ely with the last four months.   

They appealed for anyone with information including any video evidence which could have been picked up by doorstep footage between December to April to come forward.  

Shop owners who sell spray paint are also being asked to be vigilant with the sales of such items.  

Jo Brooks, director of operations at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “We are incredibly proud of our district and it is a great shame that a small minority are choosing to deface public spaces, especially in Ely.” 

She said the council has a zero-tolerance policy on all forms of antisocial behaviour in the district. 

“We are working with the relevant organisations to catch the person/s responsible for such inappropriate and offensive behaviour,” she said.   

“Eyewitness information, CCTV camera footage and even video doorbell footage are all fantastic avenues for the police to use during a criminal investigation.” 


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