Hatfield pupils tackling graffiti in town centre

Sasha Garrod, Danny Chapman and Annmarie Ypey from Bishop's Hatfield Girls' School are tackling graf

Sasha Garrod, Danny Chapman and Annmarie Ypey from Bishop's Hatfield Girls' School are tackling graffiti in Hatfield as part of a citizenship project. Picture: Bishop's Hatfield Girls' School - Credit: Archant

Three Hatfield pupils are tackling graffiti in the town centre as part of a citizenship project.

For the project, Year 11s at Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School divided into groups and identified an issue affecting the town, which they would then try to improve.

Pupils Sasha Garrod, Danny Chapman and Annmarie Ypey will meet with a town centre manager to discuss what can be done to clean up and discourage graffiti in the subways underneath the town.

The pupils told the Welwyn Hatfield Times that the graffiti in the town centre is often offensive, and can be easily seen by young children.

Sasha said: “Graffiti is a problem because it’s making people intimidated, and lots of people avoid using the subways even though it’s for public access. Subways provide a safer route.

“The town centre is a really nice place but people don’t want to go there anymore.

“It affects businesses as well. It’s not a nice place to be, especially when you are walking home.

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“Our idea was to give people a specific space for graffiti. There’s a lot of abandoned buildings so it could be moved away from subways.”

The pupils will be meeting town centre manager Rachel Richards, as well as Welwyn Hatfield Cllr Bernard Sarson, executive member for regeneration, economic development and partnerships.

A county council spokeswoman said: “Hertfordshire County Council’s policy is that graffiti that is racist or offensive will be attended to and removed/covered up within 24 hours.

“Graffiti that is obstructing a road sign will be attended to within 20 working days. If the graffiti is non-offensive, subject to funding, we will prioritise and include sites in our next planned graffiti removal programme.

“Generally we use special chemicals to remove the graffiti or paint over the graffiti with an appropriate colour. We use anti-graffiti paint at some locations.

“We also work with local schools and local borough/district councils regarding projects to decorate and enhance subways with murals and similar artwork (e.g. in Hertford town centre) to encourage use and discourage graffiti.

“In addition we are working closely with Hertfordshire Constabulary, to see how we can work better together and share information and intelligence on graffiti. Discussions are ongoing but we hope this will help to target resources to appropriate areas and deal with the perpetrators and ultimately prevent instances of graffiti.