TWO young graffiti vandals were caught on camera as they spray-painted a listed building.

The girls were filmed by a passer-by as they daubed a face and name tag in black paint on the side of the Grade II listed building in Richmond Terrace, Brighton.

One of the vandals then runs away towards The Level.

Their behaviour – at 7.40pm while it was still light – has caused outrage.

The woman who filmed it has reported it to police who said they will investigate once they have viewed the footage.

Hanover resident Tara Whiteson, 43, said: “It’s vandalism.

“The most forceful argument against this is that it is someone else’s property which they put effort into keeping clean and the taggers are damaging it.

“People then have to put time and money into cleaning the wall.

“I think it’s awful and the young girls should be arrested. It really looks terrible.”

The Argus:

Green Party councillor David Gibson said graffiti in the city was a “scourge” and he was working with residents to fight it.

Cllr Gibson, who represents the Hanover and Elm Grove ward where the vandals were caught, said: “I have been working with volunteers from GoodGym to paint over graffiti around the area. We have covered hundreds of yards across many streets.

“The issue in Hanover is trying to cover it up as quickly as possible so that more people aren’t encouraged to graffiti in the area.”

Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth also condemned the vandals.

He said: “Disrespecting the public realm like this is a slap in the face to anybody who cares about Brighton.

“Public art has the potential to bring joy to the city’s shared spaces but this sort of tat from the talentless, on both public and private property, just depresses everything around it.”

The Brighton Society said graffiti vandals were “moronic”.

The group aims to “promote high standards of planning, architecture and design as well as improve features of the urban and natural environment” and says it is “essential” to clean up the streets.

It has created a map showing areas in Brighton and Hove worst hit by the problem.

A spokesman said: “We really want to make people and the council aware of the extent of the graffiti problem.

“I think there has to be a real crackdown.”

“Graffiti is everywhere in the city and ranges from murals to tagging.

“Tagging is at the lowest end of the spectrum and is pretty moronic.”

The spokesman said there must be consequences for graffiti vandals.

He said: “I think that, sadly, the only way to stop this problem is to take it to a higher authority such as the police.

“Those responsible have to be held to account and they have to know it’s unacceptable.

“It’s the public realm that is being disturbed.

“The solutions that have been suggested before such as painting over it or painting a mural or landscape on the walls of private property clearly aren’t working.

“But it’s so widespread at the moment I worry it will be difficult to stop it.”

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “It is illegal to graffiti on any surface without the owner’s permission and we would strongly condemn anyone doing so.

“We very much hope that the people in the video got permission from the owner of the property in question before doing their graffiti.

“For information about the work of the council’s graffiti team and how private property owners can respond to graffiti on their premises please visit our website.”