Friday, 27 February 2009

Alternative approach to tackling Graffiti

This morning on my walk to the station a couple of contract workmen with a van were working under the bypass bridge. As I approached I realised that they were working on the graffiti on the wall under the bridge. One guy was painting something onto the wall while another was using a jet wash on another part of the wall. From the angle that I approached in the low glancing sunlight and the effect of what he was painting on the wall as he painted over each line he caused it to be highlighted which had the visual effect of looking as if he was actually painting the graffiti on the wall. As I got closer I realised that he was painting a clear liquid (I guess some form of detergent or paint remover) over each line of the original graffiti which caused the original fading lines to be highlighted but this got me thinking.

Anybody who knows me will be aware that one of my favorite quotes is Einstein's definition of insanity which is "To repeatedly do the same thing and expect a different result". This leads me to a policy of looking at problems that seem insoluble from the point of view of looking at what has been tried already and turning it on it's head, however insane or counter intuitive that may seem, and presenting that as the only viable solution. So bearing that in mind back to the graffiti. Everything to stop/prevent graffiti seems to have worked to date and contract workmen removing the graffiti just seems to encourage the artists to return to the now clean canvas within days or hours. As a side note on my return journey a new set of graffiti had been applied to the wall. So back to the problem. What if we employed the council workmen to actually paint on the graffiti in the first place. This would make the painting of graffiti so UNCOOL that surely the kids would stop immediately in embarrassment not only that they would probably run around removing the council workers efforts. Mad on the surface but let's face it we have tried everything else and it has not worked so it might be worth a try.