Graffiti Management Policy

1.0  Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that graffiti doesn’t detract from the appearance or positive feel of our community.

2.0  Background

The presence of graffiti can leave an impression that a particular site or whole community is uncared for and residents are lacking in pride for where they live and work.  In extreme cases where large amounts of graffiti, particularly offensive or threatening graffiti are present, an impression of lawlessness can be perceived.

Prompt removal of graffiti can act as a deterrent to further graffiti as the vandals don’t see their efforts on display for long periods.

3.0  Key Definitions

Graffiti Vandalism is the act of a person or people damaging or defacing any building, structure, road, tree, property or other thing by writing, drawing, painting, spraying or etching on it, or otherwise marking it:

  1. without lawful authority; and
  2. without the consent of the occupier or owner or other person in lawful control.

Tagging is a particular type of graffiti vandalism taking the form of a unique identifier specific to an individual or group.  It is often used as an anonymous signature.

Offensive Graffiti is graffiti that does not meet “commonly held standards of decency” and includes:

  • explicit sexual material
  • material portraying, inciting or encouraging violence
  • features swear-words
  • attacks on an individual in a manner that could be considered bullying
  • contains slanderous content
  • material portraying, encouraging or inciting illegal activity
  • material portraying, encouraging or inciting discrimination of any sort
  • compromising the safety or security of individuals, the public or public systems.

4.0  Policy

  1. All graffiti vandalism details shall be provided to the Police and the Safer Communities Unit. This applies to graffiti on Council and private property.
  2. Once Police have obtained evidence, including photographs, the graffiti shall be removed promptly.
  3. All graffiti vandalism is to be removed from Council property and assets as soon as practicable.  This is applied on a ‘whole of Council’ basis with all units proactively adhering to this policy.
  4. Offensive graffiti is to be removed within 24 hours on work days (i.e. Monday to Friday).
  5. Graffiti removal shall be carried out in a manner that recognises the surface finish it is applied to and the product and method used to apply the graffiti.  In this way the integrity of the original surface finish will be maintained rather than leaving blotches of unmatched paint over an asset.
  6. In locations or on assets where graffiti occurs repeatedly, graffiti proof coatings, textured surfaces or other treatments will be considered to reduce the instance of graffiti reoccurring.
  7. Where graffiti is identified on property not owned by Council, the owner and/or occupier shall be notified and encouraged to remove it promptly.  If a private owner is not in a position to remove graffiti on their property then community groups will be approached to assist.

Adopted Community Development Committee 26 April 2016