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Writing's on the Wall for Graffiti Hate Crime

Nil by Mouth has teamed up with students from City of Glasgow College to highlight the impact of graffiti hate crime on communities across West Central Scotland.

The students launch the campaign at City of Glasgow College

The ‘Writing on the Wall’ campaign will run across colleges and main streets in Glasgow, East Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire over the next few days.

The campaign was devised by Daniel Murphy, Connor O’Leary and Daniel Mullarkey, Marketing and Advertising students at City of Glasgow College and the winners of the ‘Pitch Perfect’ creative competition ran each year in conjunction with Nil by Mouth. The competition sees more than 100 students compete to create a campaign which challenges hate crime and encourages people to stand up and take action. The winning concept is chosen by an independent panel of judges drawn from the world of the arts, marketing and charity campaigning.

The campaign is welcomed by the community at Ayrshire College

The charity has also undertaken research using Freedom of Information requests into the extent of the problem in Scotland. Using evidence provided by 30 local authorities it can be revealed that 1 in 5reported cases are recorded as being offensive with 2, 716 hate incidents being recorded from the 12,996 reported cases between 1st April 2020 and 30th September 2021.

Writing on the Wall’ will also focus on ways of using art in prominent public spaces to spark genuine discussion around issues of identity and conflict highlighting how initiatives like the Glasgow mural trail have proved popular with tourists and helped renew decaying areas of the city.

The van will tour across west central Scotland

Daniel Murphy said:

We wanted to run a campaign that highlights a problem but also looks to offer solutions. There is a huge difference between public art that stops and makes you think and graffiti that’s put there solely to demean or antagonise people. Initiatives like the Glasgow mural trail, have proved successful in helping renew areas and spark genuine discussions about big important issues. Councils have been looking into making more publics spaces available for street art and we are bringing this campaign across West Central Scotland today to remind the public that hate isn’t art but art can help eliminate hate.’

Nil by Mouth Director Dave Scott said:

‘The students have created an excellent and much needed campaign which seeks to remind people not to become desensitised by this anti-social behaviour. It’s a reminder of the talent and potential housed within our colleges. The judges were blown away by the quality and variety of the pitches and ‘Writing on the Wall’ was a winner because of the way in which the group could bring together several key themes in a very relatable way.

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 it’s also costing taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds each year to clean public spaces. This is completely unacceptable and, in addition to more creative use of public art spaces, we should consider ideas such as seeing Community Payback Orders utilised so those convicted of hate crime are made to help clean up areas with high levels of offensive graffiti.'


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