Part of the activity of the WPHG is to try where we can, to improve the character of
Wimbledon Park. From walking around the Park in the early months of 2001, it was very
apparent that graffiti was a major problem. It was not only effecting the appearance of
the Park, but also creating an edgy feeling that left you with the impression, "Was
this place really safe?"
Following discussions with Merton Council it was agreed that something should be done.
If the WPHG supplied the manpower, the Council would supply the paint, and we could start
to rid the Park of this menace. Our strategy was one of Rapid Reaction, i.e. in order to
get the message across to the offenders, it was necessary to remove any new graffiti
within 24 hours of its appearance.
We started in the Spring of 2001 and to date we have had very satisfactory results. The
Park was still attacked on occasion, but the clean-up now took less than an hour to
complete and nearly all of the active graffers, who used to deface the Park’s
buildings and fences, have now quit the area.
Following the example set by WPHG, Merton Council have launched a major clean-up
campaign for the Borough, and WPHG have been involved in helping other local groups
organise themselves into Graffiti Buster teams.
If you need help with this sort of a problem, then please contact us. Self sufficiency
is the key, and you really can make a difference to your neighbourhood. We now have many
more elderly people using the Park because it now feels safe, and when you are clearing
graffiti, there is nothing nicer than to have a total stranger come up to you and express
how grateful they are that somebody is doing something to make this place look better.