Graffiti

What is Graffiti

Graffiti is the deliberate defacing of property by writing or drawing of symbols, pictures or wording that is scribbled, scratched or sprayed illicitly to any surface without the permission of the property owner. Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Paint, particularly spray paint, and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials.

Graffiti is one of the most visible of all crime and disorder problems that may occur in a community. 

The facts:
  • Graffiti is willful damage under Queensland law and is illegal – It is a crime
  • Graffiti vandals have no regard for private or community property and seek recognition from their peers
  • Types and styles of graffiti vary with common referrals made to graffiti as tagging, stenciling and throwups
  • Graffiti costs the community through clean up responses and increased insurance premiums
  • Graffiti leads to public perceptions of neglect, disorder and concerns about safety
  • It has the potential to impact on the long term viability of businesses and continuing investment of the private sector in heavily affected areas.
  • There is no single solution to graffiti. Graffiti management is a shared responsibility between Council, QLD Police Service and the Community.

Graffiti or Art ?

It is important to understand the differences between graffiti vandalism and urban art. Graffiti is illegal and causes damage and removal costs to the victim. Urban art is legal artwork installed on surfaces where permission has been granted by the property owner. Urban Art projects are generally arranged by local councils, schools, private organisations and business with an aim to provide artistic skill development of artists and participants and create a visual mural in a specific location

Graffiti Legislation/Laws and Policy
You could end up in Jail or be fined

Recent amendments to the Criminal Code, the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000, the Summary offences Act 2005 and the Youth Justice Act 1992 in order to increase sentences for graffiti offenders: provide forfeiture of recoding devices used in connection with graffiti offences; and provide for a mandatory graffiti removal order regime.

Increased sentences for graffiti offenders

Increased the maximum penalty for graffiti offences from 5 to 7 years imprisonment.

Forfeiture provisions

Under section 469AA of the Criminal Code , any device used to record, transmit or store images relating to graffiti offences and owned or possessed by an adult convicted of a graffiti offence may be surrendered to the state. This could include mobile phones, laptops, cameras and electronic storage devices.

Graffiti Removal orders

A new mandatory graffiti removal regime has been introduced  whereby a person convicted of a graffiti related offence will be required  to undertake a graffiti removal service. Both adults, and children aged 12 to 16 will be subject to graffiti removal orders (GRO).

Police powers 10-16 years

When Police have a young person who has committed a graffiti offence aged 10-16 years, they must in the 1st instance consider the option of referring the young person to a Graffiti Removal Program

Youth Conferencing Program

When a young person is required to attend a Youth Conferencing Program for a graffiti offence, the conference convener must consider the option of a Graffiti Removal Program

Court requirements

When a young person  over 12 years of age is charged with a graffiti offence by police, the court must sentence the young person to a Graffiti Removal Program.

Reference:

Criminal Law and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2013
http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/
www.police.qld.gov.au

Deterring Graffiti

As a property owner there are measures you can take to deter graffiti. Please refer to our 12 Tips for Preventing Graffiti poster which has the following tips for you:

  • Use shrubs and bushy plants along walls to help reduce access to walls or views into building
  • Avoid using plan smooth surfaces on fences. Use rough or textured surfaces that make it difficult to apply graffiti 
  • Used dark coloured paint 
  • Keep extra paint of the same colour of your walls, fence or painted surfaces 
  • Use an anti-graffiti coating to protect surfaces of the building were possible 
  • Build with high density, low absorbent materials 
  • Ensure your site is well lit at night 
  • Keep your property well maintained 
  • Run watering systems during night time hours 
  • Secure items around your property like benches, BBQ’s and wheelie bind so that they can not be used to gain access to wall and rooftops.
  • Break up large surfaces to minimise ‘canvas’ space benign available – lattice, windows or have an artist do a legal ‘urban art’ work on the space. 
  • If you do find graffiti on your walls, try and remove it as soon as possible.

How can I remove Graffiti from my property?

If you need to remove graffiti from your property you may prefer to remove the graffiti yourself. For tips on graffiti removal, check out our Graffiti Removal Guide

Here are also some links to some Graffiti Removal products available on the market:
www.smartgraffiti.com  | www.sosafe.com.auwww.suresealsealants.com.auwww.blackwoods.com.au

Parents
Parents Have a Responsibility to Stop Graffiti Vandalism Graffiti is an act of wilful damage under Queensland law and is an illegal activity.

It hurts schools and neighbourhoods both visually and economically, it decreases peoples feeling of safety, it drains tax dollars, and sends the signal that nobody cares. In response to this the Bundaberg Regional Council has launched a new, multifaceted campaign to stop graffiti. Our approach will address removal, education, enforcement and prosecution to discourage and eliminate graffiti vandalism - and we need your help!

It is important to understand the differences between graffiti vandalism and urban art. Graffiti is illegal and causes damage and removal costs to the victim. Urban art is legal artwork installed on surfaces where permission has been granted by the property owner. Urban Art projects are generally arranged by local councils, schools, private organisations and business with an aim to provide artistic skill development of artists and participants and create a visual mural in a specific location.

What are some of the signs that your child may be committing Graffiti Vandalism?
  • Graffiti on backpacks, books, clothing, notebooks, or furniture
  • Markings on teenager's things resembling graffiti markings found in the community.
  • Possession of "Graffiti Implements," for example spray paint, paint markers, shoe polish daubers, drill bits, sandpaper, grinding stones, rocks, permanent markers, stickers (slap tagging), rubber gloves, or acid.
  • Frequently read Graffiti publications and visit graffiti web sites.
  • Uses slang terms associated with graffiti
  • Has permanent marker stains or paint stains on hands or clothing.
  • Spends time with others displaying the above characteristics or that do commit graffiti vandalism.

 What can parents do?

  • Encourage  open dialogue with your child about potential consequences of graffiti, like expensive fines, community service, and jail time
  • Encourage after school activities, like a sport, music, art or clubs that will occupy their time
  • Help them express their creative energy in a positive way including art classes or design projects.
  • Help Contact a school counselor, for ideas about how to communicate with your child.

Call QLD Police Service Police Link on 131 444 to report graffiti in progress

FEATURE LINKS