Rapid-response squad to combat graffiti damage in Marbella

Vandalism on a fountain in central Marbella.
Vandalism on a fountain in central Marbella. / Josele-Lanza
  • The council hopes to demotivate graffiti vandals when they see that their works don't last very long

Councillors in Marbella have announced a plan to fight back against graffiti as soon as it crops up around the resort. The department for Public Works has started a tender process for companies that can rapidly remove the vandalism as soon as it is discovered. The initial contract will be for two years, starting this year, and will be in addition to the normal street cleansing operation's effort.

Companies offering this new service will have just one working day to remove or paint over the graffiti, although this can be extended to up to five days in exceptional circumstances or during public holiday periods.

Town hall technicians explained this week that one of the main problems with the graffiti is that it is carried out on porous surfaces and paint from spray cans can soak in up to one centimetre, making it very hard to remove. The rapid response service will not only have to remove the graffiti but also take steps to repair any long-term damage to the surface affected.

Marbella's councillor for Public Works, Javier García, has explained that vandalism of this nature has an important visual impact on tourists' enjoyment of the resort. Last December the council began its fight against graffiti with a smaller programme of removal but using existing staff. However the council has realised that it is not enough.

"With the street cleaning department we only solved part of the problem and the Local Police have recommended that there is a faster response time," said García, adding that the aim of the programme was to demotivate graffiti artists when they see that their works and their notoriety doesn't last very long.