Milton Keynes graffiti hotspots to be covered in special coating to stop vandals in their tracks

The substance makes it impossible for paint or pen to stick

By Sally Murrer
Monday, 10th January 2022, 3:21 pm
Updated Monday, 10th January 2022, 3:22 pm

Walls, bridges and underpasses in Milton Keynes are being covered in a special anti-graffiti coating to make it impossible for vandals to deface them.

The clear coating cannot be seen but means spray pain, paint of pen will simply slide off it.

This week Cllr Lauren Townsend, Labour's Cabinet member for Public Realm, videoed the coating being applied and published it on Twitter.

The surface is cleaned and old old graffiti removed, then the 'clean and protect' coating is applied.

"This is relatively new technology," said Cllr Townsend. " It's chemical free, so it's safe for the environment. Basically, what is does is create a surface that graffiti, spray paint, paint or pens cannot adhere to."

The new surface is much easier and saves council and taxpayer money, she said.

"It also acts a deterrent because if somebody is out with a spray can and they see that the paint isn't sticking to the surface, it makes it a much less attractive canvas for potential vandals."

This new Watling Street underpass was graffitied within 24 hours of being opened

Over the past year MK Council has recorded almost 900 incidents of graffiti last year in MK and removing it costs many thousands of pounds.

Underpasses are the main graffiti hotspots throughout MK. Last year a brand new multi million pound underpass on the V4 Watling Street was attacked with spray paint within just 24 hours of the official opening ceremony.

Milton Keynes Council urges residents to report vandalism to the council online or to the police.

Graffiti can be classed as an act of criminal damage and culprits can be prosecuted by police.

Police can prosecute graffiti vandals

Under the Criminal Damage Act 1971, anyone caught doing graffiti can face a prison sentence of up to ten years or fined if the damage costs more than £5,000. If it causes less than £5,000 of damage, an offender could face three months in prison or a fine of £2,500.

Offenders can also be prosecuted under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, which gives local councils the power to dish out on-the-spot fines of £50 to anyone caught doing graffiti on public property.