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Graffiti is any illegal markings which include drawings, scribbles, messages or 'tags' that are painted, written or carved on walls and other surfaces. Removing it costs taxpayers in the UK over £1 billion a year.

Graffiti on private housing or business premises

The owner of the property is responsible for its removal. If you live in a housing association property contact your local housing officer.

Here are some tips for removing graffiti:

  • research has shown that the quicker graffiti is cleaned off, the easier it is to remove
  • prompt removal tends to discourage more graffiti
  • many DIY stores stock suitable cleaning products
  • some companies can clean graffiti for you, check the Yellow Pages

Graffiti on privately owned street furniture (such as post boxes and telecommunications cabinets)

The companies that own the street furniture are responsible for removing the graffiti.

They may not know it is there so you can contact the company responsible to ask them to remove it. Please provide exact location and box number if shown. Below are some useful contact numbers:

  • BT phone boxes 0800 661610 (you’ll be asked for the public phone number)
  • BT service boxes (often green) 0800 800 151
  • Electricity boxes 0845 071 3953
  • Royal mail post boxes 0845 774 0740
  • Virgin Media (taken over from NTL) 0845 454 0000

Council owned property

The district council is responsible for removing graffiti from its own property that may include council owned public toilets, rubbish bins and some leisure centres.

Report graffiti

Help prevent graffiti

  • avoid having outside walls painted white where possible (it's a canvas for graffiti)
  • apply pebble dash type surfaces for walls rather than smooth rendered concrete
  • create shrubberies against walls to restrict access to wall surfaces
  • prevent access to roofs by coating drainpipes with non-drying paint available from DIY stores
  • secure fencing around the property to limit easy access
  • install security cameras
  • coat walls with a suitable graffiti resistant coating

If you witness somebody damaging property with graffiti, call 101 immediately to report it.