We are committed to reducing and removing graffiti in the borough. Graffiti is a criminal offence under the Criminal Damage Act 1971, and those caught can be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000.
We will remove graffiti from Council-owned property, private property, and commercial property. You can report graffiti if it:
Graffiti removal can only happen once we have received permission from the property owner or occupier. We aim to remove:
- Offensive graffiti (e.g. racist, homophobic or sexist) within 24 hours
- Other graffiti within three days
Where there are access restrictions, or the graffiti is above five metres then removal times may be longer.
Graffiti on your property
If you are a victim of graffiti you should first report it to the police. You can use the MET online report form or call 101.
We offer a free removal service for households and businesses. Graffiti is removed using either a high pressure machine which uses specialised chemicals, or paint. Whilst every care will be taken, we cannot accept responsibility for any damage caused, nor guarantee complete removal.
Sometimes we may not be able to remove the graffiti but we will let you know as soon as possible. In these cases you may wish to speak to your building insurer.
You can report any graffiti you have seen in the borough. We will investigate and remove it if we can.
We will not remove graffiti found on:
- Railway property - this should be reported to Network Rail
- Electrical substations - this should be reported to UK Power Networks
- Utility boxes - this should be reported to the relevant utility company. Most utility boxes have a manhole cover in front of them that will show the name of the company that owns the box
- Bus stops and shelters - this should be reported to Transport for London (TFL)
- Phone boxes - this should be reported to BT
We work with local residents and businesses to help with graffiti removal. In some cases however, we may need to take enforcement action to ensure it is removed.
If graffiti is not removed despite our offer of assistance, we may serve a legal notice to the owner/occupier of the property, to remove the graffiti within a set time period. If the graffiti is not removed within this time we will remove it and recover the costs from the owner/occupier.
Prevent graffiti on your property
Simple steps you can take to reduce the chance of graffiti appearing on your property:
- Quick removal is one of the best ways to stop future graffiti. The quicker graffiti is removed the less likely vandals are to strike again
- Make sure your property has good security measures to limit access for vandals. For example, you could install motion activated lights, locks, fences, or even CCTV
- Use anti-graffiti paint. Anti-graffiti paints can make removal a lot easier and quicker
- Use trees, shrubs, or climbing plants to cover walls and fences. This creates an uneven surface and can deter vandals as graffiti would be less visible
- Use muted colours on walls, e.g. reds, browns or greys. Vandals are less likely to deface properties painted with these colours, as the walls are less of a blank canvas and graffiti will not stand out
- Keep a small tin of matching coloured paint to hand for touching up painted surfaces
Rewards for information
We work with London Crimestoppers to highlight problem graffiti tags and hotspot locations.
You can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where your call will remain anonymous. Callers who give information that leads to a prosecution could be entitled to a reward of up to £1,000.
We aim to reduce graffiti in the borough by educating young people about the effect of graffiti vandalism and highlighting its antisocial and destructive nature and the damage and costs involved. Work is undertaken with schools at both primary and secondary school level.
Junior Citizen Scheme
The scheme educates year 5 children on various topics ranging from graffiti vandalism to fire safety and stranger danger and first aid.
It runs twice a year during the autumn and spring terms for two weeks per session, and consists of scenarios, role play and various interactive activities. These are presented by qualified and experienced individuals from the council and agencies such as the local police, fire and ambulance services.
If you are interested in graffiti education, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.