The City of Launceston has a zero-tolerance approach to graffiti and works with Tasmania Police, the local community and relevant agencies to support and generate activities that draw on social and environmental approaches to prevent, reduce and remove graffiti.
The Council only removes graffiti from their infrastructure and assets, utilising a dedicated resource allocated to graffiti removal. Daily inspections are conducted as part of the Council's servicing schedule and removal is conducted usually within a 24-hour period - immediately if the content is of an offensive nature - as this is a well-recognised method of discouraging further vandalism.
Currently, the wall at the Skate Park in Royal Park is made available for street art, allowing legal expression for graffiti artists, as well as projects such as the traffic signal boxes to encourage responsible behaviours - as opposed to tagging in undesignated areas.
Any graffiti or tagging in the CBD on private buildings are the responsibility of the property owner to remove. The Council will provide notification when observed.
If the Council observes any graffiti deemed as offensive in nature to the community - regardless of the proprietor - we will intervene and cover or remove.
What is graffiti?
Graffiti is the marking of other people's property without their consent. It can include writing (tagging), symbols, graphics, scratching (or scratchitti) or paper-based graphics (paste ups).
- Graffiti is illegal unless the City of Launceston has designated a legal area for it or the owner of a property has given permission for it. In the Launceston municipality, there are some legalised graffiti walls in a defined space at the Royal Park Skate Park. There are also legal murals and other forms of street art on many privately-owned buildings, which add to the uniqueness of the Launceston streetscape.
- Graffiti has a high cost to the community with social, health, legal and economic implications. In areas of high graffiti activity, it can also impact on perceptions of safety and public amenity.
- Preventing graffiti requires everyone in the community to be active and take ownership of the problem.
What can I do if I find graffiti on my property?
- Photograph the graffiti for future identification. The graffiti may reveal a tag or signature particular to the offender. Some data shows that a 'fear of getting caught' is one of the reasons taggers stop tagging.
- Report the graffiti to Police on 131 444. If you have information regarding graffiti vandals or people acting suspiciously, you can report anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
- Remove or pain over the graffiti quickly. Research shows that removal within 24-48 hours deters further graffiti vandalism.
If you're not the owner of the building, obtain the owner's permission in writing before commencing painting or removal.
For heritage properties, you may need to obtain planning approval before repainting. For more advice on this, call the City of Launceston Development Planning Department on 03 6323 3000.
Speak to your local paint shop or hardware store to ensure you use the correct product for removal as different surface types require different removal agents. Removal agents can include chemical or pressure washing with water or sand, depending on the surface. Also, make sure that you use the correct personal protection equipment during removal to ensure your health and safety.
What if I find graffiti on other property?
If the graffiti is on City of Launceston-owned property, you can report it on 03 6323 3000.
If the graffiti is on a utility such as a traffic or Telstra box you can report it on:
- Australia Post 13 13 18
- Metro Tasmania 13 22 01
- Telstra 180 22 44
- Aurora Energy 132 004
If you are not sure who owns the property with graffiti, you can report it on 03 6323 3000.
You can also use the Snap Send Solve phone app to report it. This is a free app for iPhones or Android smartphones that lets you report issues and provide feedback in under 30 seconds.
It enables you to take a photo on your phone and then automatically sends it using your email address so that the City of Launceston can respond directly to you to solve the issue.
How can I reduce and prevent graffiti vandalism to my business or home?
- Maintain your building or residence: Broken windows, litter, broken fences, overgrown landscaping and poor lighting all send a message that property owners are not attentive or do not care, and these properties are more likely to be targets of graffiti.
- Design out crime: Enhance lighting for natural surveillance and to increase feelings of safety. Incorporate natural deterrents such as trees, shrubs, etc. in your landscaping. Use graffiti resistant materials or coatings. Pain walls with dark colours, colourful surfaces or textured surfaces as these are less likely to be targeted by graffiti.
- Work with your neighbours in keeping the neighbourhood neat and clean. Consider starting up a community clean-up day where everyone can get involved.
- Work with your community to install lighting where there are frequent graffiti attacks. Bright lighting and lights that automatically switch on when there is movement can deter graffiti offenders.
- Consider installing CCTV at hard-hit areas.
- Remove rubbish bins and recycling bins quickly, as these can be used as props to reach higher spaces.
Whether you're looking for information on how to reduce graffiti around your neighbourhood, school or business, the below resources will offer a guide for helpful tips and contacts within the community.