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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 remove
  • It attracts other crimes - areas with graffiti can attract other crimes occurring in this area and heightens the fear of crime.

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' responsibility.

How can I prevent graffiti on my property?

You can do the following to help prevent graffiti appearing on your property:

  • Put trellis or climbing plants on walls to create an uneven surface. This deters vandals, as graffiti would not be clearly visible.
  • 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 to clean.
  • 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 easier.
  • 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 products.

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 non-porous surfaces.
  • 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.