LOVE it or loathe it, it's all over the city.

One graffiti artist has made it their mission to tag walls, doors, phone boxes and fences across Southampton.

But little is known about the person calling themselves Kams Wasp - other than she or he is also prolific in Portugal.

Now city arts and environment bosses are at loggerheads over whether it should be removed.

Director of internationally renowned John Hansard gallery Woodrow Kernohan said graffiti is "part of contemporary street culture". He added: "Graffiti is an important art form and shouldn't be removed unless necessary. However if it's associated with drugs or other criminality, then that's a very different and more complex matter".

And the curator of city centre Solent Showcase Gallery is calling for the 'graffer' to come forward so she can work with him.

Kate Maple, who runs Above Bar's Solent Showcase Gallery and the annual Street Jam Live festival said she'd like to meet the artist - and invite him to work on the festival.

She said: "I'm really for street art as long as it's done with respect. Personally I don't mind it because on a grey winter's morning on the bus it's quite colourful. But other cities do have quite good provision for artists to paint walls.

"I can appreciate why some people don't like it because it's not been invited and asked for.

"But I think graffiti can make a city really interesting.

"It would be good if they got permission - but that's how graffiti started,

"it's about pushing the boundaries. He has the potential to be good".

But Southampton MP Royston Smith is calling for the tags to be cleaned up and said: "I think that these things are what allow other people to think they can make the city a mess as well.

"If you leave the smaller things then they are allowed to become bigger things.

"That was [mayor] Giuliani's tactic in New York - to not let the little things go.

"If they are allowed to get on with it then everyone else will do the same.

"If you allow people to deface the city then it's going to have repercussions".

City environment boss Councillor Jacqui Rayment said there's been no increase in the reports of graffiti - and she hasn't noticed it herself. She said: "We can't just go and clear graffiti off a private property.

"But if it's on shop shutters and places like that where kids have worked very hard then that's not welcome.

"People just writing their name round the city does nothing and it's criminal. We deal with graffiti appropriately.

"If the tag is on our property it's easier to deal with than if it's on private property.

"This is criminal damage and we work with the police to deal with it".

A spokesperson for Hampshire police said graffiti isn't currently "a policing priority".

They added: "Officers in Southampton Central Neighbourhood Policing Team would like to hear from anyone who knows who is responsible for graffiti in the city.

"Officers welcome intelligence reports from the community and will respond to any crimes in progress.

"Officers continue to work in partnership the Southampton City Council’s street cleansing team to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the city.

"Anyone with any information that could assist is asked to call 101."