You can report graffiti to any public areas such as bins, benches, buildings, subways or monuments to your local council. In certain circumstances where the graffiti does not need to be recorded as a crime, the council have responsibility of clearing up graffiti. The council can liaise with the police if they believe further action is required and if the graffiti is of a racist or offensive nature the council will attempt to remove it within 48 hours.

If the graffiti has caused permanent damage to a car or building this is criminal damage and should be reported to Northumbria Police.

If you report it to us and there is sufficient evidence and an offender known, officers may arrest and charge an offender.

Depending on the severity of the offence there are a number of different possible outcomes. This could include anything from cleaning the graffiti, to a fixed penalty notice, fine or even imprisonment. Councils can also issue fixed penalty tickets to offenders.


What is the law on graffiti?

  • Graffiti is an offence of criminal damage and, if prosecuted, the offender could face a fine or even imprisonment.
  • Under 16s are not permitted to buy aerosol paint cans.
  • Local authorities can issue fixed penalty notices for offences of graffiti.

There is some graffiti all over a wall on my street. Who should I contact to get it removed?

You should contact the local council for the area where the graffiti has taken place.

If the person/organisation is known then it may be possible for the council to issue penalty notices and a 'defacement removal notice'.

If it is on council owned property, or if it is offensive/racially abusive, the council may be responsible for removing it. If not then the council may be able to advise you who to contact or remove the graffiti at a charge.

Someone has written racist/offensive graffiti on my wall. What can I do?

In the first instance contact us to report it. Anything of a racial nature will be recorded as a hate crime.

You can find out your local council here and report graffiti: 

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