Teen spray paint ban set to cut graffiti 'eyesores'

Under-16s will be banned from buying aerosol paint spray cans from today as part of a government crackdown on graffiti.

New measures in the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 coming into force today will permit local authorities to impose penalty notices of £50 for graffiti and fly-posting.

The measures will equip local councils, police, housing officers, environmental health officers and others with the tools they need to deal with this type of anti-social behaviour which impacts on communities across the country, the government said.

Pilot plans to allow councils to clean street furniture such as phone boxes will begin in 12 areas.

Home Office Minister Hazel Blears said that graffiti was an "eyesore which blights communities".

She added: "It affects people's quality of life, increases fear of crime and reduces pride in a community. It also costs us all millions of pounds a year to clean-up - money which could be better spent on other valuable services."

In November the Home Office launched the 'Name that Tag' campaign in London, Liverpool and Manchester, offering a reward of £500 for information about persistent graffiti artists.


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