Ayrshire College has thrown its weights behind a new campaign aimed at tackling graffiti hate crime in Scotland.
Last month Nil by Mouth launched the ‘Writing on the Wall’ campaign which will run across West Central Scotland with the aim of asking people to report what they see and encourage public bodies and charities to invest in more public art spaces, allowing budding artists the chance to showcase their work.
The charity also undertook research using Freedom of Information legislation into the extent of the problem in Scotland. Using evidence provided by 30 local authorities it can be revealed that 1 in 5 reported cases are recorded as being offensive with 2,716 hate incidents being recorded from 12,996 reported cases between 1st April 2020 and 30th September 2021. The charity has called for those found guilty of hate crime in the courts to be made to clean offensive graffiti as part of Community Payback Orders.
Ayrshire College has been at the forefront of efforts to tackle hate crime in recent years, including last month hosting Ayrshire’s first ever conference on the subject. The college has been working in partnership with Nil by Mouth for more than a decade to help make students aware of the consequences of sectarianism. College Principal Angela Cox joined police and Student Union officials to welcome Nil by Mouth as the Writing on the Wall promotional vehicle set off to carry the message to communities across Ayrshire.
Angela Cox welcomes the campaign to Ayrshire joined by PC Claire Bysouth and Student Union Vice President Robert Kean.
Nil by Mouth Director Dave Scott said:
‘We are delighted that Ayrshire College has agreed to kick off our campaign this morning. It has always been a big supporter of our work as well as wider efforts to tackle prejudice across Ayrshire. Our research uncovered that 1 in 5 of all reported graffiti incidents to councils have been recorded as being offensive and it has been clear for a while now that this is a growing problem. Not only are these incidents stoking resentment and hatred but are also costing taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds each year to clean public spaces. It’s crucial that people report what they see to help tackle this problem and we consider ways to provide space for genuine graffiti artists to work and ensure proper restorative justice disposals for those perpetrating hate crimes.’