Keep up with Armagh i

Craigavon worst for graffiti in borough as council cranks up pressure on offenders

“Patrols by environmental wardens have been increased in key areas to update the survey data, monitor for any newly affected areas and to assist with PSNI intelligence to identify potential offenders."

Graffiti in Castle Street car park, Portadown. Credit: ABC Council

Craigavon is the worst area in the borough blighted by graffiti – and that’s official!

A report on the problem has recently been brought back to the environment committee having been earlier flagged by councillors.

The situation has become so dire across Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon that councillors and officers have been left scratching their heads and trying to decide: ‘Where do we go from here?’

In an attempt to deal with the issue, officers have compiled a report as the wheels start rolling at looking at ways to eradicate graffiti and target those responsible.

The Environmental Health report explained that environmental wardens recently carried out survey work in ‘black spot’ areas, and Craigavon comes out on top.

They counted 49 Department for Infrastructure street features defaced; 27 BT street cabinets and other BT property targeted; 21 ABC-owned assets daubed with graffiti, with 44 other street properties also targeted, totalling 141 incidents.

Lurgan is ranked second, with the following reported: DfI property, six instances; BT property, 40 instances; ABC property, 12 instances; other, 18 instances; totalling 76 instances.

Portadown comes third, with the following reported: DfI property, 1 instance; BT property, 10 instances; ABC property, 10 instances; other, 14 instances; totalling 35 instances.

Six instances were reported in Armagh, and five in Banbridge.

The report also outlines a range of measures which the local authority can consider to tackle the scourge of graffiti and ongoing programmes of action.

The report states: “Fixed penalty notices may be issued to persons who have defaced specific surfaces.

“The council may issue a notice requiring an offender to remove the graffiti within a period of two days, and where the graffiti is not removed, the council may carry out the work and instigate steps to recover costs.

“Graffiti on property such as walls and bridges, and on the various NIE and BT street cabinets, will come within the enforcement remit of the council.

“These can be dealt with by the service of a Defacement Removal Notice (DRN) if informal approaches are not fruitful.

“In relation to private property, there is no enforcement role for the council. Matters should be dealt with through informal means.

“A budget can be agreed by members through the estimates process for 2025/2026, to allocate the necessary budget to deal with graffiti.

“Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Policing & Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) currently deliver a graffiti removal scheme which removes graffiti from private and publicly-owned properties, where the graffiti is of an offensive, sectarian, or racist nature.

“It is an offence for a person to sell aerosol paint to a person under the age of 18 years. A test purchasing exercise is included within the current Environmental Health Business Plan.

“Correspondence is issued to retailers across the borough annually, reminding them of their legal responsibilities. Three test purchases were completed last year.

“Patrols by environmental wardens have been increased in key areas to update the survey data, monitor for any newly affected areas and to assist with PSNI intelligence to identify potential offenders.

“Officers are working to consider exploratory options around the Probation Board, community-based initiatives, encouragement of increased reporting, additional funding opportunities etc. in the next period of months.”

Sign Up To Our Newsletter

Most read today

More in Craigavon