Over the coming months, convicted criminals will be seen removing graffiti from buildings in Dublin's city centre. The pilot project is a collaborative venture between Dublin City Council (DCC) and the probation service, and involves teams of five offenders who are supervised at all times by probation officers.

The prisoners, all of whom have been trained, are supplied with the relevant cleaning equipment, including chemicals. Labour is provided for free, and in turn DCC pay all costs related to the cleaning.

Five of the worst-affected areas in the city centre are being targeted, and include alleyways, railway routes and ground-floor level buildings. The teams, which comprise people serving community service sentences, are not permitted to clean any private property or city council housing.

The general public have been assured that no dangerous criminals will be involved in the clean-up operatio