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Graffiti is a particular concern in the inner cities. It makes neighbourhoods appear dirty and run down. Removing it costs businesses and local councils millions of pounds. It is usually connected with anti-social behaviour and crime. Back alleys, open spaces, underground tunnels, footbridges, council property and public walls and fences are all vulnerable to graffiti.

You do not have to put up with graffiti. Most local councils have been funded by the Home Office to appoint anti-social behaviour (ASB) co-ordinators who can advise on how to deal with graffiti and other environmental crimes related to ASB.

Graffiti is an act of criminal damage under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 and those found guilty can be punished with a maximum fine of £5, 000. Those under 16 may be given a community service order. It is also an offence under the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environments Act 2005.

Other penalties include:

  • On the spot fines of up to £80
  • Making it an offence for shop keepers to sell spray paint to under-16s
  • Defacement removal notices requiring owners of street furniture (e.g. public telephone booths) to clean up graffiti within 28 days of the issue of the notice

Visit the Law Search page for full details.


The Criminal Damage Act 1971

The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environments Act 2005

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