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Graffiti means drawings, pattern, scribbles or messages, painted written or carved on walls and other surfaces. Graffiti blights many of our streets and if they are left untouched their presence often encourages more graffiti, dumping and anti-social behaviour.

Report graffiti using our online form

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.

We are unable to remove graffiti from private property as the land owner is responsible for cleaning it up. The council is responsible for removing graffiti from public buildings, street furniture or monuments. Find out more about flyposting and graffiti removal

Before reporting the graffiti you could try removing it yourself, this can be easy and cheap to do.

Wipe it out

Most graffiti are made by either a permanent marker pen or paint spray from a can. It is often easier to remove new graffiti before it has had a chance to dry properly. 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 sound 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 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. You may wish to use a specialist company listed in the local phone directory under graffiti removers or painting contractors.

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 remover and graffiti remover

These may be effective against aerosol paint on the majority of non-porous and porous surfaces.

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 and wood dye

These products are useful if graffiti are embedded into the grain of wood.


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.

Please contact the Environmental Protection Team for further information and advice by using the contact details on the left of this page