Keeping the streets clean

6. Graffiti

Graffiti damages the appearance of our streets and public places, with areas affected looking neglected and uninviting. Graffiti is an illegal practice; it spoils both public and private property and can be very costly to remove.

Graffiti is classed as anything which is written, scratched, painted or sprayed on the surface of any property. It ranges from the simple act of tagging a location with initials through to elaborate paintings.

We remove graffiti from council owned property. This includes council offices, street furniture such as lights, signs and benches, litter bins, and play equipment in parks. We also have arrangements with Virgin Media and BT to paint out graffiti on their green street cabinets.

We provide a free graffiti removal service for domestic residential properties and businesses with fewer than 50 employees. That is if the graffiti is visible to the public.

Graffiti is removed using a variety of methods, such as, jet washing, painting out, using chemicals. The removal of graffiti from private property is subject to the signing of an indemnity form by the property owner.

We will respond to reports of offensive graffiti within 1 working day and non-offensive within 3 working days. This initial response allows us to establish who owns the property and if the free removal service is applicable. If so, to request an indemnity form.

We will remove offensive graffiti within 1 working day and non-offensive within 3 days of receiving the indemnity form. We encourage the prompt return of indemnity forms so not to delay the removal of the graffiti.

We notify the owner of the property for;

  • other street furniture
  • bus shelters and postal boxes etc
  • private property including property owned by United Utilities, Network Rail and Highways England

We then request that they deal with the matter.

There is a £100 fixed penalty for people who are witnessed carrying out graffiti, with a reduction of the fine to £75 if paid within 7 days of issue. Failure to pay will result in prosecution leading to a fine of up to £2500.

To let us know about an issue with graffiti use the online form below:

Report an issue with graffiti