The problem with graffiti in Australia

graffiti, graffiti removal -

The problem with graffiti in Australia

Graffiti within Australia is a problematic crime that affects business and homeowners financially. It is the act whereby an individual would "tag" a public object or building with a collective of words or symbols using either spray paint or markers to represents themselves. It is a costly crime and has many safety concerns for both the public and the vandal. 

Within NSW alone, it costs an estimate of $300 million dollars annually to remove graffiti and repair surfaces damaged by it. Within Victoria, over 2 million square metres of graffiti have been removed since 2005, proving both costly and time-consuming. 

A solution suggested by the government is to remove the graffiti promptly, possibly within 24 hours. This will discourage the vandal to place their graffiti back on that surface, knowing that their "symbol" will not be displayed there. However, if they continue to place their graffiti, the police can then be involved to eventually capture the vandal.  

A study was conducted within Western Australia to see if young graffiti vandals would either grow out of it, repeatedly offend, or continue to partake in more serious crimes (due to graffiti being a gateway crime). It was found that there were numerous different offences as a result of partaking in graffitiing in their teens. The statistics show that 96 graffitists had one recorded offence other than graffiti. One of the most common crime for adolescents was partaking in burglary, however individuals ranging in the young adult age range partook in more serious crimes which included violence/violent attacks and drug dealing (Taylor, Marais et al. 2012, Taylor and Khan 2014).

Because graffiti is linked to other forms of crimes, the public feels less safe when present around graffiti. If it is found amongst business owners, such as cafes, restaurants, etc, it can make customers feel intimidated or unwelcomed and, therefore, the businesses will suffer. That is why it is important to remove it as quickly as possible. 

Some products that can help with the removal of graffiti include:

The two main products for graffiti removal within the Bermuda Industrial Supplies range are ‘Shift’ and ’Strip’, both of which are designed for either painted or unpainted surfaces. 

The difference is that the graffiti remover specifically designed for painted surfaces is a heavy-duty formula that is able to remove any form of spray paint or adhesive on porous or non-porous surfaces. It is also able to remove over spray of penetrative sealer from different types of stone and concrete.

With "Shift - Graffiti Remover for Unpainted Surfaces", it is effective on any unpainted surfaces including different types of stone and concrete; it is also a sealant remover. 

Some other products that can assist with the removal of graffiti include N-Methyl-2-Pyrrolidone (NMP) and Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK), although it is highly recommended to use either of Bermuda’s specially formulated products ‘Shift’ and ‘Strip’.


Callinan, R. (2002). Dealing with Graffiti in New South Wales. N. Parliament: 2-40, from

Crime Prevention, N. C. J. "Graffiti Vandalism." 2021, from

Stone, T. (2016, 4 October 2016). "Graffiti: Art of the tag." 2021, from

Taylor, M. F., et al. (2010). "A twenty-first century graffiti classification system: A typological tool for prioritizing graffiti removal." Crime Prevention and Community Safety 12(3): 137-155.

Taylor, M. F. and U. Khan (2014). "What works and what does not work in reducing juvenile graffiti offending? A comparison of changes that occurred in the frequency of persistent graffitists’ patterns of offending following the announcement of two successive initiatives aimed at reducing graffiti proliferation." Crime Prevention and Community Safety 16(2): 128-145.

Taylor, M. F., et al. (2012). "Patterns of graffiti offending: towards recognition that graffiti offending is more than ‘kids messing around’." Policing and Society 22(2): 152-168.