Monday, 14 September 2009

Future Banksy's showcase talents at legal graffiti wall anniversary event

Talented youngsters from across the Caerphilly county borough have helped raise the profile of Caerphilly's legal graffiti wall by taking part in a special 'Wreck Jam' event.

The event was held recently at Caerphilly Skate Park, to the rear of Caerphilly Leisure Centre to mark the one-year anniversary of the opening of the first legal graffiti wall in the Caerphilly county borough, and to remind local youngsters that the wall is there for them to use to pursue their hobby of graffiti art in a completely legal way.

Since the legal graffiti wall opened it has helped significantly in reducing the instances of graffiti being sprayed on buildings and other property in Caerphilly town centre and surrounding areas.

As a result of the scheme, combined with the excellent work of officers from Caerphilly Neighbourhood office, only 39 Incidents have been reported. There have also been 47 fewer victims of this type of crime.

Leader of the council, Cllr Lindsay Whittle said, "The legal graffiti wall has contributed significantly to the reduction in instances of illegal graffiti throughout the town.

We have some extremely talented youngsters in our county borough, some of whom I met at the Wreck Jam event and saw for myself their artistic talents.

It must be remembered however that spraying graffiti on buildings and other property is an offence; therefore I would encourage the very small minority who think it is acceptable to spray graffiti illegally to come along and make full use of the excellent facility that is the legal graffiti wall."

Prior to the event, a competition was held whereby people were asked to submit a design around a "Cauldron and Furnaces" theme, and the winning design would then be recreated on the graffiti wall on the day of the event.

Cllr John Evans, Mayor of CCBC kindly agreed to select a winner from the numerous entries. The winners were:
  • 1st Place – Jessie McCarthy
  • Joint 2nd Place – Scot Chamberlain
  • Joint 2nd Place – Arran Williams
Caerphilly Neighbourhood Inspector Paul Staniforth, said: "The local neighbourhood policing team has supported the use of the graffiti wall from the very start. It is important that we remember that unwanted graffiti is a crime in itself and contributes to the overall fear of crime within a community. It is also important that we recognise that graffiti is seen by certain youths as an artistic way of self expression, which makes diversion projects, such as the graffiti wall, a crucial part of our overall partnership strategy in tackling this type of crime."

Young people that attended the event were also informed of the laws surrounding graffiti and the fact that spraying graffiti on buildings and other property is criminal damage – it was also reinforced to people that the legal graffiti wall is there so that people can take part in their hobby of graffiti art in a completely legal way.

The event, which was sponsored by Oner Signs and Leisure also featured dance performers, music courtesy of Voice FM and refreshments courtesy of Tesco.


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