Graffiti is a topic that lots of people don’t agree on. Some see it as art and others see it as vandalism, and in some cases that’s correct.
What is graffiti?
Graffiti can include spraying, writing, scratching or slashing an identifying mark or symbol on someone else’s property without their consent.
Materials commonly used to do graffiti include spray cans, felt tip markers, any form of paint or sharp instruments.
Placing graffiti on someone else’s property is a criminal offence.
Types of graffiti
- Tagging – style of calligraphy writing that depicts the initials or nickname of the person responsible.
- Throw-ups – ‘fat’ bubble style outline of a word (usually a tag name) drawn quickly.
- Crew tagging – the tag represents the name of a crew of graffiti writers rather than an individual.
- Political or social comments – slogans used to show concern about particular issues.
- ‘Piece’ or ‘murals’– generally a more complex work involving some form of ‘artistry’. They are usually a highly stylized and colourful version of a tag or crew name.Stencilling – pre-formatted template placed on the wall or footpath and sprayed over with a spray can. There is an emerging problem of private organizations paying graffitists to spray stencils or their logo for advertising purposes.
Who is responsible for graffiti removal?
If graffiti appears on any Council property such as a Council-owned building, parking meter, bench, waste bin, public artwork, bridge or street sign, it will be quickly removed.
If the graffiti is on private property such as a house, shop, office, factory or other building, fences, walls, garage or a private letter box the owner of the property is responsible for graffiti removal. For residents who are Pensioner Concession Card holders or who are unable to remove the graffiti themselves, we will assist with the removal of the graffiti.
According to Victorian government law, Council officers must provide written notice to the owner or occupier of our intention to remove graffiti. Once consent is obtained (or once ten days has passed) Council can arrange for the graffiti to be removed. The removal of obscene or offensive graffiti will be fast-tracked through immediate contact with the property owner or their representative.
What can I do?
Moonee Valley residents can get a free graffiti removal kit to help clean up your home or Moonee Valley business by from the Transfer Station reception at 188 Holmes Road, Aberfeldie.
We will respond to requests for graffiti removal on private property for people who are unable to use the kits themselves.
If you see graffiti anywhere within Moonee Valley you can call 9243 8888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to report it for removal.
If there is graffiti on the property you own or occupy and you would like to have it removed, Council will need your written permission to do so. Please contact Council on 9243 8888 to organise removal.
If you see graffiti on one of the following assets please report the graffiti directly to the relevant property manager:
- Report graffiti on telephone boxes, pillars, cabinets and exchange buildings to Telstra by calling 132 203 (for pillars/phone boxes) or 1800 622 203 (for green cabinets / exchange buildings).
- Report graffiti on fire hydrants directly to City West Water by emailing email@example.com
- Report graffiti on post boxes or green distribution boxes directly to Australia Post by phoning the Customer Contact Centre on 131 318.
- Report graffiti on electricity poles, pillars/units and substations directly to the owner:
- contact Jemena: phone 13 16 26
- Report graffiti on traffic signal boxes and traffic light poles directly to VicRoads by phoning 131 170.
By reporting graffiti directly to the asset owner or manager you will help us to make sure our staff time is focused on quickly removing graffiti from buildings and assets owned by Council and local residents and businesses.
We are happy to assist community and service groups to clean up graffiti by providing advice and materials for these projects. Please call 9243 8888 and ask to speak to the Supervisor of Signage and Linemarking.
Community service programs
We also look for opportunities to engage with community service programs to help tackle graffiti. Community service volunteers are given a list of graffiti hotspots and on a weekly basis they visit these sites and paint over any graffiti.
Report graffiti to Police
Placing graffiti on someone else’s property is a criminal offence. Reporting graffiti to Police can assist them in tag identification, and tracking and apprehending offenders.
Call 000 to report graffiti in progress.
Call Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000 to report someone who you know has been involved in marking graffiti or vandalising property, to gather evidence to assist with prosecution.
For more information please contact the Facilities Graffiti Maintenance team on 9243 8888.