FED-UP residents in the city centre have revealed their dismay over landmarks in the area “constantly” being defaced with graffiti. 

Locals in the Merchant City and Trongate have said they are “sick and tired” with seeing scrawls “everywhere they look”. 

They argue that the problem has only worsened in recent years, but recognised it is difficult for officers to trace the culprits. 

Police said that they are treating the crimes “very seriously” and have urged anybody who witnesses this type of anti-social behaviour to report it immediately. 

Glasgow Times:

The issue was raised by Merchant City and Trongate Community Council (MCTCC) earlier this year after a walkabout with local representatives.

They say that certain buildings and structures - including the South Portland Suspension Bridge and the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) - are being targeted more than others. 

Scott Thornton, spokesperson for the group, said: “We have expressed our concerns and dismay on the general issue of graffiti in the city centre at our regular meetings with community police and the four Glasgow councillors who represent our ward. 

“These have included fact finding walkabouts with ward councillors.

“We appreciate it can be difficult for already hard pressed police to track down those responsible but we’ve discussed with them ways in which this could be done.”

Glasgow Times:

Images taken by the Glasgow Times show scribbles plastered across the GOMA, the suspension bridge, bins, walls and doorways in the area.

One resident - who wished not to be named - claimed that the problem is at its peak.

The Saltmarket local of 22 years said: “I have never seen it this bad before. Teams will come out, scrub it up and then it is simply defaced again.

“We’ve seen street art defaced with graffiti, too - I thought that’s what the whole point in street art was, to tackle graffiti? 

“I’m sick and tired of seeing it everywhere I look. It really is about time the police started to give harsher punishments for this crime, that would maybe nip it in the bud.”

Glasgow Times:

Meanwhile, MCTCC says that the issue is becoming “detrimental” to Glasgow’s image, arguing that one piece of graffiti “tends to lead to another”. 

The group fears that new developments - including ones at the Clyde waterfront - could be targeted once they are complete. 

Mr Thornton said: “Defacing of buildings and structures are detrimental to Glasgow’s image and a problem for many local residents. 

“One piece of graffiti tends to lead to more in the same place. If the city council has to clean up this comes at a cost to tax payers.

“The state of the once beautiful South Portland Suspension Bridge has been a disgrace for a long time, with hardly a piece of stonework or ironwork not sprayed or written upon. 

“A major challenge will be to stop the same thing happening once various developments, including those on the Clyde waterfront, are completed.

“In the meantime, we encourage all residents to report new incidents to the police and their community council. 

“This can bring quick results - a member of the public recently told one of our meetings about graffiti at her apartment block. Our chairman put her in touch with a ward councillor and the mess was cleared up the following day.”

Glasgow Times:

Local councillor, Angus Millar, suggested that street art initiatives should be promoted by the local authority in a bid to rid the problem.

The SNP representative said: “The pandemic has seen a rise in graffiti in many major cities and unfortunately we are seeing that here in Glasgow too.

“The police and council need to work together to ensure hotspots are being monitored and instances addressed, and community intelligence is vital in this. 

“We have to get to the root of the problem and reduce vandalism of people’s homes and public space, and I welcome the work the council is doing to explore new approaches such as providing street art-based alternatives for graffiti in designated locations.”

Glasgow Times:

Police assured that when reports of graffiti are reported to the force, CCTV inquiries are carried out in efforts to track down those responsible. 

Chief Inspector Ross Kelly said: “We are aware of local concerns regarding graffiti in these areas.

“When incidents of vandalism are reported to police, we carry out local enquiries including checking CCTV footage to gather any further information that may help us identify whoever is responsible.

“We take this activity very seriously and would encourage anyone who witnesses this type of anti-social behaviour taking place, or who has information on those responsible for any graffiti to contact the police.” 

Glasgow Times:

A council spokesperson said: “There has been a notable increase in reports and our graffiti removal team is working its way through these.

"Obviously priority is given to reports of offensive graffiti which we aim to remove within 48 hours. 

“The sad truth is that the small number of people who continue to deliberately engage in this type of anti-social behaviour are the ones responsible.

"We are doing our best with removal at both the GOMA and the Portland St Bridge sites however it goes back up as fast as we remove it.

“The public should continue to report any incidences of graffiti via My Glasgow app.”

Those who witness graffiti taking place can contact police through 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.