Is this Art?

Published on Dec 17, 2018

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Dealing with graffiti is an ongoing challenge that impacts our community. Most business owners would like to present a clean, safe and welcoming environment for our residents, workers and visitors.

From a legal view point intentionally damaging or defacing any premises, vehicle or other property is a crime.  It’s also an offence to have a graffiti implement in your possession.

A graffiti implement can be spray paint, a marker pen or any other implement designed or modified to produce a mark that cannot be removed with soap and water.

It’s also a crime to affix a placard or paper to any premises, or to intentionally mark any premises with chalk, paint or any other materials, without permission.

The penalty is fines and up to 5 years imprisonment.


Tips to prevent graffiti

  • plant vegetation to help restrict access to walls and views into buildings/yards
  • provide lighting – as a well-lit area may deter vandalism
  • secure your property to restrict access to graffiti vandals
  • remove graffiti as quickly as possible. Quick removal of graffiti may deter future graffiti crime, as offenders don’t receive the recognition from other graffiti offenders.

How to report graffiti

  • Service NSW operates a graffiti hotline for reporting and quick removal of graffiti. To report graffiti call 1800 707 125 during office hours or go online (the website also has graffiti removal information).
  • Police Assistance Line (PAL). Phone 131444, 24/7. This number is preferred to phoning the local police station.  Using PAL means the report becomes part of the official statistics on crime activity in the local area.
  • NSW Police Force Community Portal. By accessing this portal and submitting a report of graffiti to your property, it becomes an official police report.  Attach photos as this can help the police identify the offender.
  • You can also report it to Council.


Don’t become complacent. Graffiti is a crime, one that can quickly change the look and feel of a community.