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24 September 2014

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You are in: South Yorkshire > Places > Places features > Leaving a mark on the city

Cleaning graffiti off a wall

Street Force clean graffiti off a wall

Leaving a mark on the city

They seek him here, they seek him there... those Sheffield City Council Street Force Officers seek him everywhere! No, not quite the Scarlet Pimpernel. A new graffiti artist is on the loose in Sheffield, going under the name 'Andolf'.

November 2007

The chances are you’ve already seen his 'tag' around the city. It’s appearing all over the place... Ecclesall Road, London Road, Broomhill and Sharrow are just a few areas where the elusive tagger has left his mark.


Andalf's graffiti: 'Noah says build your own ark'

So what does it look like? Well, it's a simple anarchy symbol which is the capital letter 'A' in a circle. Sometimes he writes a slogan next to it.

South Yorkshire Police and the council are desperate to catch the tagger. It costs the council £200,000 a year to spray off the graffiti with a high pressure hose.

"In my eyes, it’s vandalism," says Andrew Staniforth from Sheffield City Council's Street Force. "It’s unauthorised damaging of property."

Andolf graffiti tag

Andolf tag

The Street Force Team will clean graffiti off the walls of your house for free, but businesses have to pay to have it removed. If the graffiti is offensive though, the council will remove it from any location, as soon as they can.

Some of Andolf's graffiti has fallen into this category. It’s not just Andolf who is responsible, though. Currently there are around 600 other taggers in the police database.

So for the council, it's a nuisance - but to some people, graffiti is an art form - a form of expression.


Graffiti near Shoreham Street, Sheffield

Kid Acne - graffiti artist

Sheffield-based rapper and graffiti artist Kid Acne began as a tagger. His work can be seen all over the city. Some is even visible from the BBC Radio Sheffield studios on Shoreham Street. 

Kid Acne thinks we should take a leaf out of the book of cities like Barcelona where graffiti artists are tolerated a great deal more. The multi-talented rapper says that because graffiti artists are encouraged there, they get much better results than the scribbled tags on the walls of Sheffield:

The Rutland, Sheffield

Graffiti on The Rutland, Sheffield

"It's just part of living in a city. But you can't tar everyone with the same brush - some people are doing it with good intentions, but in Sheffield there’s nowhere for people to do it legally."

But art or no art, Sheffield City Council say they will remove it - and all at great expense to the tax payer.

:: We asked people in Sheffield whether they recognised the tag. Click on the link below to listen, and have your say via the form at the bottom of the page.

last updated: 11/06/2008 at 10:47
created: 30/11/2007

Have Your Say

What do you think about graffiti? Should it be more tolerated? Should taxpayers pay to have it cleaned off?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

k wright
it should be tolerated when not obviously directly offensive to any particular person, culture, gender or race. It also mustn't unfairly expose children to offensive language or images. But as an artistic, political and most importantly an expressive tool I think it makes any place much more beautiful and interesting to look at.

i think it is apiece of art and should b tolerated in certain areas in sheffield. tagging is wrong but proper graffiti art is good.

its cool x

Mr P. Mac
Graffiti should be tolorated, the artist is trying to get his art to everyone and he only cost is on his paints. Has the council asked the general public if they want graffiti to be cleaned or are they just assuming. Like Kid Acne has said if there were more place to paint on a legal basis you would see a decrease in tagging and the quality would rise just like in cities like Paris and Barcelona. We need to be forward thinking and not get stuck in the dark ages.

He'll be loving this publicity you're giving him.

Tag's are an eyesore, art isn't. There's no fine line really between the 2 things it's obvious to anyone what is a tag ( and vandalism ) and what is art.The gallery shop near the bottom of london rd there's a nice looking graffiti on the security shutters, that's art really. Then again on the wall near it is just some scribbles of peoples tags and that's vandalism.

Bob Hoskins' tears
Kid Acne's graffiti is as dull as his music. This Andolf kid is worse.There is some good stuff around, but not much. Why we haven't got some legal graffiti areas is beyond me.

supercrome wsk act
i am so happy that there is graffiti on all the outspreading roads from the city centre, it just goes to show that a city with artistic culture and history behind it will not let the shiney hotel brigade think they can love it then hate it from one day to the next,graffiti is graffiti good and bad a real writer is an artist who pieces muralls and also bombs tags, graff has two sides,sheffield wouldnt be the city it is without graffiti and music,yes the town center looks lovely i agree. weather its on your property or not you should let humanity evolve and its capitalism you should be fighting against..peace 'crome' as seen on your first mural pick.

It should not be tolerated as it lowers the tone of any neighbourhood and the railway approaches into Sheffield. In the meantime the taxpayers will have to pay for the clean up, but the Council can apply to the courts for the arrested culprits to pay for the costs incurred along with any other penalities.

The best graffity I ever saw in Sheffield was in a very cursive script and it said 'They made me do it'. Fantastic.

i love kid acne's graffiti and that other graffiti art around sheffield. think it makes the city look so bright and interesting. not so keen on random tags on nice clean walls though...

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