Graffiti is any illegal markings which include drawings, scribbles, messages or 'tags' that are painted, written or carved on walls and other surfaces. Removing it costs taxpayers in the UK over £1 billion a year.
Graffiti on private housing or business premises
The owner of the property is responsible for its removal. If you live in a housing association property please contact your local housing officer.
Here are some tips for removing graffiti:
- research has shown that the quicker graffiti is cleaned off, the easier it is to remove
- prompt removal tends to discourage more graffiti
- many DIY stores stock suitable cleaning products
- some companies can clean graffiti for you - check the Yellow Pages
Graffiti on privately owned street furniture (e.g. post boxes, telecommunications cabinets)
The companies that own the street furniture are responsible for removing the graffiti.
They may not know it is there so you can contact the company responsible to ask them to remove it. Please provide exact location and box number if shown. Below are some useful contact numbers:
- BT phone boxes 0800 661610 (you’ll be asked for the public phone number)
- BT service boxes (often green) 0800 800 151
- Electricity boxes 0845 071 3953
- Royal mail post boxes 0845 774 0740
- Virgin Media (taken over from NTL) 0845 454 0000
Graffiti on bus shelters or bus stop signs
To report graffiti on a bus stop sign, contact Oxfordshire County Council by emailing email@example.com or calling their public transport team on 01865 815858.
Your local town/parish council may be responsible for bus shelters in your area so you will need to contact the clerk to report any incidents of graffiti.
Graffiti on highway signs, speed cameras or traffic bollards
To report graffiti on highway signs, speed camera and traffic bollards (not street name plates) contact Oxfordshire County Council's Highways team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 310 1111.
What is the district council responsible for cleaning?
The district council is responsible for removing graffiti from its own property that may include council owned public toilets, rubbish bins and some leisure centres. To report graffiti on property owned by West Oxfordshire District Council please contact our customer services team on 01993 861000, or
Removing offensive graffiti
We consider graffiti to be offensive if it contains any of the following:
- offensive language
- language of a politically/racially/religiously insulting or inciting nature
- an image which is graphically explicit, visually offensive or textually offensive by the message that it contains.
Please report offensive graffiti to us.
Help prevent graffiti
- avoid having outside walls painted white where possible - it's a canvas for graffiti
- apply pebble dash type surfaces for walls rather than smooth rendered concrete
- create shrubberies against walls to restrict access to wall surfaces
- prevent access to roofs by coating drainpipes with non-drying paint available from DIY stores
- secure fencing around the property to limit easy access
- install security cameras
- coat walls with a suitable graffiti resistant coating.
If you witness somebody damaging property with graffiti, call 101 immediately to report it.