Bristol Cracks Down On Illegal Tagging As Upfest Gets Underway

A Green Party councillor in Bristol wants to re write the local rules on graffiti in the city. The area is the native home to the well known artist Banksy and Bristol is internationally renowned for its street art.

Now Daniella Radice the Assistant Mayor says, “Bristol’s reputation was attracting taggers from outside the area and police reports that more than 80 people are what it calls “actively offending” in the area. Ms Radice stated in an interview that she wants to differentiate “the contribution that street art can make, while opposing tagging”.

The city’s local tourism board promotes walking tours of his murals – and is also hosts the Upfest, which claims to be the largest international street art festival in the world. It takes place in Bedminster and Southville this weekend on ‘Legal walls.’

Green Party councillor Ms Radice told BBC Radio Bristol: “Because we are a city that’s celebrated for our street art… people think if they come and tag here, maybe they will get some extra recognition for it.” She now wants to “re-write” the existing policy to help make it clearer “what we think is art and what we think is not”, to include strict enforcement against tagging while supporting “street art”. She added “legal walls” might be needed – currently there is one in a park near junction 3 of the M32 – and more resources might be needed to help communities and businesses clean up tagging.

The local Avon and Somerset Police are also being proactive with  “Operation Block” alongside the council – targeting illegal graffiti and “tagging” – where people spray their signatures onto walls. The police reported recently that a man from Bournemouth received a suspended sentence after admitting 78 counts of criminal damage in the city while another man from York admitted causing damage at 15 locations.

Upfest 2015, Europe’s largest, free, street art & graffiti festival ,which gets underway this weekend is known to attract over 250 artists painting 28 venues throughout Bedminster & Southville, Bristol from 25th – 27th July. Talented artists travel from 25 countries and across the UK to paint live on 30,000 sq ft of surfaces in front of 25,000 visitors. The affordable art sale, music stages and art workshops round off a visually spectacular weekend!

See More details about Upfest here

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