Large mural to be drawn on wall of Northamptonshire police station as part of anti-graffiti project

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Colourful street artist Binty Bint is to get the ball rolling on a community project to brighten up a corner of Daventry town centre.

Binty, best known for her trademark chicken designs, will work her magic on the wall next to the Diamond Jubilee Skate Park in the town’s New Street Rec as part of an initiative to reduce graffiti and anti-social behaviour through street art.

Based on the themes of skating, community and respect, Binty’s work will form the centrepiece of a large mural which will be added to over the coming months by young people from across the community, including schools and youth groups.

The project is the brainchild of Simon Williams of Daventry’s Evergreen Art Café and is being co-ordinated by Daventry District and South Northamptonshire Community Safety Partnership. It is supporting Operation Illustration – a Northamptonshire Police initiative to tackle graffiti and associated anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.

Initial work on the design started last week, when Binty visited the Rec to meet skate park users and listen to their ideas on what they would like to see.

She will be returning this Friday (August 29) to start work on the mural.

Binty said: “I am excited to be working on this fantastic local initiative and I am looking forward to working with members of the community to help brighten up Daventry.”

The skate park has proved a huge hit since it was opened in July last year following a project involving young people from Daventry’s Phoenix Centre, Daventry District Council (DDC) and its partners.

Councillor Alan Hills, Vice Chair of the Daventry District and South Northamptonshire Community Safety Partnership, said: “Young people were heavily involved in the creation of the Park and it’s important they continue to be actively involved in any improvements that are made.

“The aim of this project is to reduce anti-social behaviour by giving the young people that use the Skate Park a sense of ownership over it. The result will be a large, colourful mural that everyone who uses the Rec will be able to enjoy. But we also hope the young people that played a part in producing it will take pride in their achievement.”

Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds has given permission for the wall, which is part of Daventry Police Station, to be used for the project.

He said: “I have been in this job for almost two years and this is the first time I’ve been asked to allow artwork to be painted onto one of our police station walls!

“I applaud any initiative that gives young people the chance to take ownership of the area they live and socialise in and this art wall will provide an opportunity for young people from across Daventry to leave their mark in the town in a creative way.

“I look forward to my next visit to Daventry to see how the wall is developing.”

Daventry Town Sergeant Sam Dobbs, said: “This is an exciting project and it’s important to say what it’s not. It’s not a graffiti wall and anti-graffiti paint will be used on the wall to deter anti-social behaviour.

“The skate park is an example of what Daventry can do when coming together as a community and I hope this upbeat and modern art wall will enhance what is a popular area for local people.”

PCSO Phil Wane, from Northamptonshire Police, said: “This is the first project of its kind in the county and one which I hope will show the vibrancy of street art, rather than the grunginess of graffiti.

“Urban art by people such as Binty Bint is impressive and colourful, rather than the traditional scribbling’s you would associate with graffiti.

“As part of Op Illustration, we are working with Community Safety Partnerships across Northamptonshire to show young people how they can express themselves with street art in designated spots such as this, rather than create unsightly tags and markings.”

The Community Safety Partnership brings together partners including Daventry District Council, South Northamptonshire Council, Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service, Northamptonshire County Council and Nene Clinical Commissioning Group to reduce crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour within the community.