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.
Graffiti is removed using either a high pressure machine which uses specialised chemicals, or paint. Whilst every care will be taken during the removal process, we cannot accept responsibility for any damage caused, nor guarantee complete removal.
We only remove graffiti that is:
- Visible from the street
- Below a height of three metres from ground level
If the graffiti is above a height of three metres, not visible from the street, or there are access restrictions you will need to make your own arrangements for removal.
There are different processes for removing graffiti from Council property and private or commercial property.
Request removal of graffiti from your property or place of work
If you are a victim of graffiti you should first report it to the police. Graffiti can be reported directly to the police using the MET online report form or by calling 101.
We offer a free removal service to:
- Households that have been subjected to a graffiti attack
- Independent businesses with nine employees or less nationally
We offer a paid for removal service to businesses with more than nine employees nationally. Businesses that do not qualify for free removal can obtain a one off quotation, or subscribe for unlimited removal for an annual fee of £164 (VAT inclusive).
Graffiti removal can only happen once we have received a graffiti removal request, and permission from the property owner or occupier which we will seek after a request has been submitted.
Once we have received permission we aim to remove:
- Offensive graffiti (e.g. racist, homophobic or sexist) within one working day
- Other graffiti within five working days
You can use the form below to report any graffiti you have seen on Council, private or commercial property in the borough. We will investigate and remove it if we can.
If you know the owner of the property you should encourage them to request removal of the graffiti themselves.
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 aim to remove:
- Offensive graffiti (e.g. racist, homophobic or sexist) within one working day of notification
- Other graffiti within five working days of notification
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.
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
Up to: Street issues
Updated: 04 May 2023