Graffiti: Reporting and removal

Graffiti are drawings, symbols, messages or 'tags' that are painted, written, stencilled or carved on walls and other surfaces. Graffiti can make an area look untidy and feel unsafe. It can also be offensive. 

Before you report graffiti to us, it’s helpful if you can take photos of the graffiti and make a note of where it is and the time when you first saw it. We can use this as evidence if we arrest and charge someone for the offence. 

Report offensive graffiti 

What to do if you see graffiti as it happens 

Do not approach the person making the graffiti, call Community Safety on 020 8430 2000 or the Police on the non-emergency number 101. 

How do I get graffiti removed? 

We remove small graffiti for Newham residents and businesses free of charge, as long as we can reach it easily from the ground. We deal with offensive graffiti as a priority, that is within 24 hours. 

If you are a homeowner or you run a business in Newham, you need to sign a form giving us permission to clean graffiti from your premises. If you do not sign the form, you are responsible for graffiti and you will have to remove it. If you don’t remove it, we can give you an £80 fixed penalty fine. 

Protecting your property 

You can make your property less attractive to graffiti writers by: 

  • Not painting outside walls white as they could be seen as a ‘blank canvas’ 
  • Applying textured surfaces to walls, for example pebble dash 
  • Planting shrubs against walls to restrict access  
  • Coating drainpipes with non-drying paint to prevent access to high walls and roofs 
  • Using secure fencing 
  • Using security cameras 
  • Painting walls with an anti-graffiti paint. 

Penalties for graffiti 

Making graffiti is a crime. A magistrate can give you a large fine, or the council or the police can give you an £80 fixed penalty fine.