27. July 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

… classical music (Mahler this time!) is being used to keep the riff-raff away.

THE use of classical music to make people feel safer and deter graffiti artists, could be rolled out across Dartford.

Music by composer Mahler is currently played on repeat in the Princes Tunnel in Central Park.

Leader of Dartford Council Jeremy Kite says that since the tunnel was reopened with the music in March, there has been a marked decrease in graffiti there.

He says that people feel safer, enjoy the music, and that he has instructed council officers into looking at introducing the idea elsewhere.

Cllr Kite said: “It’s worked really well so far.

“It’s my hunch that young people creating graffiti don’t find it cool to be surrounded by classical music.

“They can’t show off and invite their friends to see it.

“They don’t want to stay there.”

However playing music to stop people daubing graffiti is not a novel idea.

Classical music is played in town centre subways in Blackburn and Burnley, to discourage youths from hanging around there.

And Co-op stores, in Perry Street and Dene Holm Road, Northfleet, ran a similar scheme in 2005 by installing loudspeakers playing classical music outside.

It was such a success staff felt they did not need to continue the scheme.

Cllr Kite said: “We don’t want to give the impression this is a negative thing, people enjoy having music around.

“People feel happy during the working day.”

Just yards away from the Princes Tunnel is a skate park which with the council’s consent, is decorated in graffiti.

News Shopper spoke to some of the skaters, who gave a mixed reaction to Cllr Kite’s plan.

Charlie Pankhurst, 25, of Northdown Road, Northfleet, said: “If it works it’s a good idea, it may stop them hanging around in certain places.

“But playing a bit of classical music isn’t going to stop the worst offenders, if they’re going to do it, they’re going to do it.”

Michael Barnett, 20, of Chastilian Road, Dartford, said: “I don’t think it’s a good idea, it’s a bit stupid.

“Music’s just music, you can’t say everyone’s going to feel the same.

“I think white noise would work.”

I read it here.


  1. I’ve heard about things like this several times, I kinda wish they’d do it close to where I live. They think it would keep young people away, I wonder why they don’t consider that it might attract other young people. If they would play classical music somewhere in a nice spot in the city it would only make me want to go there more. but then, maybe I’m not an average person, with playing oboe and all 😉

  2. Heh … no one playing an oboe is ever deemed “normal”. 😉