When Otley was targetted by vandals just after Christmas, the town centre and the area to the west inside the bypass was blighted with their 70+ items of scrawl. One or two companies jumped into solving their own problem straight away but that still left an awful lot to do. Katie at Otley in Bloom called for an impromptu OIB clean-up and tried to contact as many owners of buildings and equipment as possible to combine our activities.
As a result on Sunday some 25+ people, from various organisations including the police and Otley Chamber of Commerce, met by the Buttercross to be marshalled and supplied with cleaning equipment by OIB. The results were startling, with damaged black walls being painted black, electrical street boxes getting clean and even some graffiti on stone was worked on.
You can read more about the police’s response to these activities but basically, an individual has been found in York and police actions continue.
Have we managed to get it all? No, but we hit the vast majority of items. Some of it was on brick or stone which we might have damaged by our cleaning and some was on private land that we could not get access to.
Why were some private areas not worked on? We tried to contact the owners of a property before working on it. If we could not contact them we did not feel we should do the work. We think we found most of the sites but may have missed some and we only had so many resources.
Have the idiots been caught? The police tell us that they have found an individual in York.
What should I do if I see more graffiti? You can report graffiti to the owner of the property. Leeds Council cleans their own property if you report it and they also offer advice on removal if you want to have a go yourself. If you want to report graffiti to the more obvious “public space” organisations then look at this table.