The Preston Road estate in Hull is part of one of the biggest regeneration projects in the city, with nearly all of the houses there lined up for demolition.
For those people who live there, pass by or through the estate, one thing that can’t be ignored is the amount of artwork that has popped up on the properties.
It was a scheme started last year by Hull City Council that has allowed artists to use the empty houses essentially as large scale blank canvasses, and has been a talking point for visitors and residents alike.
Hull East Neighbourhoods Inspector Tony Towse explains: “In January 2018 the infamous street artist Banksy came into Hull and painted one of his trademark pieces at Bankside. It certainly divided opinion, but for some, it seemed fitting for Hull’s position as City of Culture.
“Afterwards we saw companies and businesses allowing their buildings and walls to be painted on, legally, by street artists. That spread to the houses on Preston Road with the first organised painting event being held in July 2018.
“Since last July, we’ve seen a 17% reduction in antisocial behaviour in that particlular area. The responses we’ve got from local youths who were causing problems around there were that they said the artwork was something to be proud of, and they didn’t want to spoil it.
“The Fire Service has also reported a 45.9% reduction in deliberate fires in the Marfleet area and a 29.8% reduction in the Southcoates area.
“It just shows to me the pride that people have in their own communities and history in east Hull and across the city, and the work my officers are doing is working.
“There are lots of families here that have been here for generations. Children, parents and grandparents stay here because it is part of their identity, and they want their own communities to be good and safe places to live.
“My officers do a lot of work with those youths who we know have been responsible for some of the problems around Preston Road in the past. We know how important it is for them to feel part of their own community. I’m really pleased with the work my officers and our partners continue to do with them.
“The responses we’re getting from the thousands of homes we’ve visited in east Hull as part of Humber Talking is that people are happy where they live, that it’s quiet, and that they get on with and like their neighbours.
“My officers, who are part of those communities, will continue to carry out regular patrols, speak with residents, and address any concerns to make sure that remains the case.
“If anyone does have any issues, always contact the police first as my officers are here to deal with them.”