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Colchester: Graffiti - think art not vandalism call from artists
A street artist has called for a positive approach to tackling graffiti rather than a zero-tolerance clampdown.
John Rutherford, who organises workshops to teach teenagers how to make works of art out of graffiti, has called for street artists to be given space in Colchester to showcase their talents legally, as has been done in Ipswich and Southend.
The 20-year-old spoke out following the police and Colchester Council's announcement last month of a joint campaign against graffiti, which will see covert CCTV used to monitor hot spots.
John said there was "a world of difference" between tagging - where a signature is crudely scribbled on a wall, as can be seen across the town centre - and proper spray-can art.
"Street art is now part of mainstream art, with pieces commanding price tags of a million dollars and galleries featuring the work of a varied range of street artists," he said.
"Many of the pieces that we see around Colchester are a testing ground for those who have a love for the art form."