It’s undeniable that graffiti is a problem in Brent and the rest of the country. The St Raphael’s Estate where I live has been targeted by graffiti on several occasions. BHP has a quick response rate to graffiti which is a good thing (24-48hours) but it’s made me wonder if some graffiti should be allowed to remain?

Some people describe graffiti as a positive expression of their talent; it allows them to express themselves without any boundaries. It can be seen as art rather than a criminal offence. You could say that it adds culture and shows diversity in our community.  

I spoke to a resident in Brent who said: “Graffiti is a positive tool when dealing with local history; it can be traced as far back as the late 70s. I think it benefits us because it exposes us to a different side of Brent.”

Others argue that graffiti is a crime. It is vandalism and encourages others to vandalise. Graffiti causes criminal damage and people who own these properties having to spend a great deal of money to remove it, funds which could be positively channelled elsewhere. Another resident I spoke to said: “Those who carry out graffiti should be channelling all this energy more efficiently towards education perhaps.”

At the moment in Brent there are limited places for expressionism and some alternatives in my point of view could be:

  • Funded clubs that allow graffiti on canvas
  • Using graffiti art to tutor others
  • Murals for artists in the local area
  • Support for people who repeatedly offend

 Graffiti will remain a controversial issue for many years to come; while it may be illegal it does require some talent to produce some of the spectacles that embellish the underground and the local area. So take a look in your area for what you can find, undoubtedly you’ll have an opinion on it. Voice your views by emailing it to: nadia.khan@bhphousing.co.uk

By Peter Nugent (Resident of BHP) aged 18

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