Graffiti prevention and management

Graffiti facts
Graffiti prevention tips
Who is responsible for removal?
How to report graffiti

Graffiti facts

  • Graffiti is vandalism and is illegal – it is a crime.
  • There are many different types and styles of graffiti – tagging, stencilling, throwups are a few.
  • Graffiti vandals have no regard for private or community property and seek recognition from their peers.
  • Graffiti costs the community directly through clean up response and insurance premiums. It also leads to public perceptions of neglect, disorder and concerns about safety.
  • There is no single solution - graffiti management and prevention involves a multi-faceted approach and is a shared responsibility between Council, the Queensland Police Service and the community.

Graffiti prevention tips

  • Join Neighbourhood Watch and share responsibility with your neighbours to help prevent and report graffiti.
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles seek to reduce opportunities for vandalism through design of buildings and facilities.
  • Well-lit areas may deter graffiti vandalism.
  • Remove graffiti as soon as possible after reporting it.  Graffiti that is left tends to attract more.  Keep a supply of colour-matched paint so you can quickly paint over any graffiti in future.  Protective coatings and smooth surfaces can make graffiti removal easier.
  • Dark colours are less attractive to graffiti vandals.
  • Keep your property secure so vandals cannot easily access your walls or rooftops. Creepers, bushy foliage, grilles or lattice along walls can screen your surfaces and limit the amount of solid surface for graffiti vandals.

Removal responsibilities

On Council property:
  • Council is responsible for removing graffiti from community assets and infrastructure owned and/or managed by Council.  This can include roads, footpaths, street signs, rubbish bins, parks and gardens and council buildings such as libraries and community halls.
  • Council has a prioritised rating for removal of graffiti.  Highest priority is the removal of obscene, offensive, racist or defamatory graffiti and vandalism on prominent sites or sites of significance (target - removal within 24 hours).  Extensive tagging in highly visible areas has a target removal of 10 working days.
On private property:
  • Private property owners or occupiers are responsible for removing graffiti on their premises.
  • Under the Queensland Government's Summary Offences (Graffiti Removal Powers) Act 2008, Council can remove publicly visible graffiti from private property (where the graffiti can be removed without gaining entry to the property).
  • Council can also leave a graffiti removal notice for the owner/occupier, or seek the owner/occupier's consent to access the property in order to remove the publicly-visible graffiti.
  • Contact the Queensland Police Cairns District Police Centre on 4030 7000 to report graffiti damage.

Report graffiti

You can help us manage graffiti in the community by reporting it quickly.

Crime Stoppers

If you have information on graffiti vandalism, phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Anonymity is assured and there are cash rewards if information leads to arrest of a graffiti vandal.

Private property

Contact the Cairns District Police Centre on 4030 7000 to report graffiti damage.

Cairns Regional Council property

Phone Council on 1300 69 22 47 or lodge a Request for Service online.

Australia Post mail boxes

Phone 13 13 18

Railways property

Phone Queensland Rail on 13 16 17 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Street lights (Ergon Energy)

Phone Ergon Customer Service on 13 10 46 (7am-6:30pm) or email

Last updated: 12 September 2020