United Kingdom


Plymouth,United Kingdom

The aim of this project was to improve the image, cleanliness and commercial attractiveness of public spaces in the city of Plymouth, by effectively controlling graffiti and fly-posting. A Zap IT! steering group was established in 2002, with representatives from City Centre Management, Enforcement, Direct Services, Youth Service, City Hosts, Youth Offending Team, Probation, Police and the Council’s legal practice. The approach taken consisted of tackling graffiti and fly-posting from three different angles:

  • By continually reacting to fly-posting and graffiti as it occurred.
  • By prosecuting and removing graffiti and fly-posting.
  • By adopting a more proactive stance in seeking to stop graffiti (and fly-posting) occurring.

Recording and mapping of graffiti and fly-posting was essential in order to identify hotspots, focus cleansing efforts and the diversion work. Cleansing of graffiti and fly-posting as it occurred, including dawn raids to undermine the economics of flyposting. Working with some graffiti artists and the press, the ‘Zap It!’ initiative supports legal street art - art that deters others from fly-posting and acts of graffiti. There are ten diversion projects completed to-date, targeting disadvantaged young people with graffiti artwork projects, run by graffiti artists, working with the Youth Service and local communities. Enforcement letters were also sent to offending venues and agencies known to fly-post.


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