Manly Council Graffiti Removal and Prevention Tips

Manly Council
Graffiti Removal and Prevention Tips
Why remove Graffiti?
When graffiti is left for any period of time it lowers the level of community pride in the area
and increases the prospect of other graffiti occurring. If graffiti is removed rapidly it sends the
message to the offender that graffiti will not be tolerated and that the local community cares
about the amenity of their neighbourhood. Also, removing graffiti quickly, preferably within 72
hours of the graffiti occurring, makes the graffiti much easier to remove.
How should I remove graffiti?
How to clean off graffiti will depend upon the surface and type of marker or paint used. You
can contact your local hardware store to find out the best type of product for your situation.
Please also view Factsheet 6: Graffiti vandalism removal and paint out options, which is
available on Council’s website.
What can I do to prevent graffiti?
There are several ways which local residents and businesses can help to prevent graffiti,
Prevention by design
Improved building design to minimize graffiti vandalism is important during the design phase.
These strategies can be used by both private residential and commercial / business property
Graffiti is largely an opportunistic form of vandalism. If the opportunity is not presented the
graffiti will probably not happen.
The aim is to make the development unattractive to graffiti vandals through:
 Minimising large blank surface areas with easy access - Long expanses of
fencing or walls that are hidden or have no opportunities for surveillance are
attractive to taggers. In their eyes they are blank, fresh canvases. Keep this in
mind when designing your new property.
 Use of graffiti resistant materials (see protective coatings)
 Improved lighting - Graffiti vandalism is often conducted under the cover of
darkness, to avoid the risk of getting caught or reported. Therefore a well lit area
will discourage graffiti.
Manly Council Graffiti Removal and Prevention Tips – April 2010
 Landscaping - Planting trees and shrubs along walls and fence lines is a
successful graffiti prevention strategy. Graffiti is created to be seen and the
planting of trees and shrubs does not allow graffiti to be seen, therefore
discouraging the offender. Certain varieties of plants are also better than others.
Speak to your local nursery about what type of plant you require.
 Preventing access to higher levels of the structure
 Use of darker paint colours - Painting your wall or fence a dark colour does not
provide a good base coat for most colours of paint that the tagger uses. This is
an extra deterrent.
Protective coatings
Protective coatings are designed to provide a barrier between the base coat or material and
any graffiti that may be applied. The coatings seal the surface, thereby making it easier to
remove the graffiti without visibly damaging the surface.
Protective coatings can:
 make removal of graffiti easier and more effective
 reduce the harmful physical effects on a surface of graffiti materials
 reduce the harmful physical effects of the removal process
Caution should be taken when selecting the type of coating or removal products as some
may not be suitable for particular surfaces, for example certain permanent coatings may
damage porous stone. It is advisable to always seek advice from the supplier of the product.
Permanent or non-sacrificial coatings last longer, however these products are often more
hazardous, and may need to be applied by a professional graffiti removal company.
Where can I get further information?
Have a look at the Stop Graffiti Vandalism Factsheets from the NSW Attorney General’s
Department available on Council’s website:
NSW Attorney General's Department's Crime Prevention Division host a website on graffiti:
The Graffiti Control Act 2008 was passed by the NSW Parliament and commenced in 2009.
A copy of the Graffiti Control Act can be found at
Manly Council Graffiti Removal and Prevention Tips – April 2010