Our powers to deal with graffiti (defacement) are contained in Sections 48 to 52 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 and Section 31 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. To require removal under the Act, the defacement must be offensive or detrimental and this is defined as follows:
- ‘offensive’ – graffiti which is racially offensive and/or hostile to a religious group, sexually offensive, homophobic, depicts a sexual or violent act or is defamatory.
- ‘detrimental’ – having a significant effect on the amenity of an area. A proportionate view is required here and relevant factors include: the nature and extent of the surface area affected by the defacement, how visible it is, the level of complaints it generates and the degree of any general defacement or anti social behaviour problem in the area.
We are only able to deal with reports of graffiti on 'public land' i.e. street furniture and council property.