Graffiti blights many of our streets and if they are left untouched their presence often encourages more graffiti, dumping and anti-social behaviour.
Reporting Graffiti on council-owned property
Cases of graffiti on council-owned property should initially be
reported online or by telephoning the above number. Racist,
homophobic or religious graffiti is by its very nature offensive,
and we will remove it as quickly as we can, and normally we aim to
respond to such incidents within 48 hours.
Prosecutions for graffiti vandalism are brought under Section
52, Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995. In some
recent cases fines have been hundreds of pounds. Young offenders
may be given a community service order.
Why is it a problem?
- It is unsightly - graffiti is an indication of a neglected
neighbourhood and is associated with crime, e.g. anti social
behaviour. It also discourages people from visiting the area.
- It is illegal - graffiti is vandalism and such a criminal act
which can result in the offender being arrested.
- It is costly to remove - it costs the UK thousands of pounds to
- It attracts other crimes - areas with graffiti can attract
other crimes occurring in this area and heightens the fear of
West Dunbartonshire Council currently removes all graffiti from
council-owned property including litter bins, council houses and
playgrounds. Any graffiti on private property is the proprietors'
How can I prevent graffiti on my property?
You can do the following to help prevent graffiti appearing on
- Put trellis or climbing plants on walls to create an uneven
surface. This deters vandals, as graffiti would not be clearly
- Try to use paint with muted tones i.e. brick red, brown or
grey. Vandals are less likely to deface property with these
colours, as graffiti will not stand out.
- Use good quality polyurethane gloss paint, as it is the easiest
- Make sure your property has good security measures to prevent
access for graffiti vandals i.e. nightlights, locks, fences, and
maybe even CCTV.
- The quicker and more often graffiti is removed the less likely
are the vandals to strike again.
How to Remove Graffiti
- Wipe it out -Most graffiti are made by either
a permanent marker pen or paint spray from a can. Also, small areas
of graffiti are often added to so it is a good idea to remove
graffiti as quickly as possible.
- Brush it out - A simple solution to graffiti
on wood and previously painted surfaces is to paint over the top.
However, for best results the graffiti should first be scrubbed or
even primed (especially when the graffiti is dark ). Anti -
graffiti paints are available which make graffiti removal a lot
- Scrub it off -Graffiti on non-porous surfaces
such as masonry paint, tiles, shiny bricks and glossy paints can
often be scrubbed off using a strong detergent and lots of elbow
grease. It is likely that traces of graffiti will be left, but this
may fade a little or can be painted over.
- Stubborn - Stubborn graffiti can be
removed with the help of specific removal products available from
hardware stores, but it very much depends on the surface involved.
Read the instructions first before using any of these
Tools for Removing Graffiti
Egg shell and oil based paints create a smoother surface and it
will be easier to clear graffiti from them in the future, as
opposed to an ordinary masonry paint. It is worth keeping a small
amount of paint in store so that you can quickly paint over any
graffiti that appears
Tools for Removing Graffiti
The choice of tool chosen for graffiti removal will depend
on the composition of the graffiti whether oil or water based and
the type of surface, either porous or non - porous. ( Always follow
makers' instructions for use).
- Cloths, scouring powder and scourers - These
tools are usually sufficient against water-based felt tip pens on
- White Spirit- This may be effective against
spirit-based felt tip pens on many surfaces.
- Wire Brushes - These can be used to remove
graffiti from porous surfaces. They are particularly effective when
used with paint remover and graffiti remover.
- Paint, dyes and coatings - It is often easier
and more cost effective to simply paint over or dye surfaces
affected by graffiti, or by applying anti-graffiti coating.
- Creosote - These products are useful if
graffiti are embedded into the grain of wood.
- Paint - Egg shell and oil based paints create
a smoother surface and it will be easier to clear graffiti from
them in the future, as opposed to an ordinary masonry paint. It is
worth keeping a small amount of paint in store so that you can
quickly paint over any graffiti that appears.