Hull’s streets are becoming eyesores – but nothing can be done to stop culprits

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Hull’s streets are becoming eyesores – but nothing can be done to stop culprits

Graffiti tagging seems to be spreading like wildfire in Hull – with no obvious solution to the problem in sight.

Sprayed or painted tags were once mainly reserved for derelict buildings on remote industrial sites.

But today they are being plastered everywhere, with particular hotspots attracting dozens of taggers apparently eager to leave their mark.

Some might call tags art – but to most people they’re becoming an increasing eyesore.

Tagging on one of the fountains in Spring Bank
Tagging on one of the fountains in Spring Bank

A quick walk up Spring Bank near the city centre underlines the scale of the problem.

The former Spring Bank Tavern pub is daubed with huge tags on its ground floor walls while a gable end on the opposite side of the Hall Street junction is a now an ugly canvas of scrawled tags.

It’s not just walls that attract the attention of taggers either.

Close by, one of the water fountains near the Ferensway junction is currently adorned with a tag on its blue tile work while a nearby post box has suffered a similar fate.

Further up Spring Bank, an electricity sub-station carries a multitude of tags while the distinctive Portland stone of the recently-closed Lloyds Bank on Willerby Road is now scarred with a large brown-coloured tag on an upper floor wall.

The latter is part of a trend among some taggers to leave their scrawls as high as possible on buildings they target.

A shop front in Princes Avenue is covered in graffiti
A shop front in Princes Avenue is covered in graffiti

It’s the same story in Princes Avenue where tags are everywhere, on shops that are open for business as well as empty units.

Whether the sudden appearance of a Banksy in Hull just over 12 months ago triggered an explosion in tagging elsewhere is debatable.

His artwork on Scott Street Bridge was the undoubted inspiration for what has become known as the Bankside Gallery, a series of outdoor murals by graffiti artists on walls in the surrounding neighbourhood.

The key difference is that property owners in the area have given permission for the Bankside artworks while most tags being spayed elsewhere invariably appear without any similar prior consent at all.

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Former city councillor Alan Clark, who encouraged the Bankside Gallery in its early days, said: “I hate taggers. They clearly can’t spray properly, it’s just pure vandalism.|”

Banksy's Draw The Raised Bridge artwork on Scott Street bridge
Banksy’s Draw The Raised Bridge artwork on Scott Street bridge

However, tackling tagging is not straightfoward.

Generally, if it appears on a private property it’s down to the owner to remove it.

In a statement, Hull City Council said: “We have no statutory duty to remove graffiti from private property, including if its offensive. However our enforcement team can take action against the property owner.

“If graffiti is on council property, such as a litter bin, we will remove it when it is reported. Any graffiti reported as offensive on council property will be removed within 24 hours.”

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