North Thanet`s MP, Roger Gale, is one of the sponsors of a Bill designed to compel those who create graffiti to, in addition to other penalties, take responsibility for cleaning it up.
The Criminal Justice (Graffiti) Bill presented by Southend MP James Duddridge with cross-party support would make provision for restorative justice by making someone convicted of the criminal damage act of graffiti both clean up the site and meet personally with the victim of the damage and owner of the property.
"Graffiti is a multi-million pound problem" says Roger Gale." What some try to glorify as `pop art` is generally no more than the mindless defacing of other people`s property.It`s a constant reminder of anti-social behaviour that has an effect on the life of the whole community and it is often seen as the start of a decline in an area.
We are seeking to legislate to impose a practical and effective solution that will help to change the attitudes and behaviour of offenders for the benefit of society as a whole.".
While the Bill in its present form may not make progress due to a lack of parliamentary time for private members` legislation there is a very real chance that the measures proposed may find favour as amendments to the Criminal justice Bill.
"These are ideas that warrant Government support" says Roger Gale. "They have the backing of the British Transport Police, the restorative Justice Consortium and ENCAMS ( The "Keep Britain Tidy" campaign) and we hope very much that by one route or another they may reach the statute book".