Ramsgate Civic Society is creating interventions to help improve perceptions

Responding to our call about how civic societies are creating interventions to help improve perceptions and boost pride in place, the Ramsgate Society shared their newsletter with us, highlighting a campaign addressing graffiti issues in the area. This initiative is being led by Ramsgate Society member Lionel Jermy, showcasing the proactive role of civic societies in driving positive change within their communities and demonstrating how our activities extend far beyond solely planning.

Thanks to representations from Craig Mackinlay MP, Kent Police have elevated the issue of graffiti tagging, which is classed as anti-social behaviour. Central Harbour police officers have conducted a walkabout alongside local councillors and Thanet District Council Street Scene Enforcement officers to assess the impact of graffiti in the area. PC Ryan Brown of the Neighbourhood Police team has acknowledged the severity of tag graffiti's adverse effects on the community and assured increased priority from Kent Police moving forward.

Recognising that graffiti removal is a multifaceted challenge involving various stakeholders, discussions are underway to establish a dedicated group to focus on this issue, demonstrating once again the need for partnerships to improve where we live. These coordinated efforts between Kent Police, TDC Environmental Services, and other relevant bodies, including the community, resonate with the "broken windows theory," which suggests that signs of disorder and neglect—like broken windows, graffiti, and litter—can create an environment that encourages further disorder and antisocial behaviour. The idea is that visible neglect signals to the community that the area is uncared for, leading to more neglect, more antisocial behaviour, and negative perceptions of an area's attractiveness, which can lead to a decrease in high street footfall and investor confidence.

We wish the Ramsgate Society well and would be interested to hear how other civic societies are trying to improve perceptions of their areas. Better perceptions of an area increase people's satisfaction with living there and bring Civic Voice a little bit closer to a society where every individual can say, "I am proud of where I live."