Street Force clean graffiti off a wall
Leaving a mark on the city
by Dino Sofos
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'.
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."
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:
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
Have Your Say
What do you think about graffiti? Should it be more tolerated? Should taxpayers pay to have it cleaned off?
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