Did you know that Wandsworth has a FREE graffiti removal service?

It was set up in 1994 to combat the increasing amount of graffiti on private property, in the borough's parks and on the external surfaces of the council's housing estates. The main form of graffiti in Wandsworth is "tagging" - the mark by which the graffiti vandal marks out his 'patch'. When the removal service was first set up the council spent £170,000 on removing graffiti. This year it will be nearer to £625,000.

How do I request graffiti removal?
The service is available only within the London Borough of Wandsworth. When a report of graffiti is received, the owner of the property on which the graffiti has appeared is asked to complete an indemnity form . This authorises the council's contractors to remove graffiti from the property concerned.
Once we have permission to remove the graffiti, an order is raised for the contractor to attend site. Before and after photographs are taken which can be used to help the police secure a successful conviction.
Where graffiti is found to be racist or abusive we aim to remove it within 24 hours. If the graffiti takes the form of tagging then we aim to remove it within 3 working days.
You can report graffiti (and other street defects or abandoned cars) online.

Our service standards
For November 2002 the graffiti removal service reached the following standards against our targets.

* We removed 84% of racist/abusive graffiti within 24 hours of it being reported.
* 96% of other types of graffiti was removed within 3 working days.

When we receive a request to remove graffiti we have to consider whether fully removing it will cause damage to the original surface underneath. If it is possible to completely remove the graffiti then of course we will. But if we can't we will paint over the graffiti with a finish that matches the surrounding surface with a type of paint appropriate for the location.

Graffiti removal - customer survey
In October 2002 the graffiti section carried out a survey of Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators to gather their opinions on the graffiti removal service. 182 out of the 927 people we approached actually responded to our survey and here is a brief outline of their responses.

Have you ever reported graffiti on your property
Yes - 33%
No - 67%

If yes, how did you report it to us?
Graffiti telephone hotline - 79%
Email - 7%
Web site - 0%
Other - 14%

Are you happy with the way your report was dealt with?
Yes - 95%
No - 5%

If reported via email or the website, did you receive an acknowledgement?
Yes - 20%
No - 80%

From the date you reported the graffiti, how long did it take for the graffiti to be removed?
Quicker than expected - 20%
As expected - 59%
Late - 20%

Were you happy with this response?
Yes - 87%
No - 13%

Were you happy with the standard of work?
Yes - 96%
No - 4%

So what does our survey show?

We are pleased to say that, of those surveyed, 95% of those who had reported graffiti were satisfied with the way their report was dealt with, 87% were happy with the response times for graffiti removal and 96% were happy with the standard of work.

20% said that they waited longer than they expected for the graffiti to be removed. But very often this is because we have to wait for an indemnity form to be signed by the owner of the property.

However the survey did show that, of those who had reported graffiti electronically, only 20% had their report acknowledged. This is something we will put right immediately by making sure that all emails and reports of graffiti made via the website (where we have been given a contact email address) are acknowledged.

We will be extending this survey to other groups of customers soon.

Meanwhile if you have a comment, query or suggestion about the graffiti removal service we want to hear from you. Email us at housinggraffiti@wandsworth.gov.uk

Can I get a reward for reporting a graffiti vandal?

Yes. If you catch or see someone doing graffiti, you should contact the police by dialling 999. Graffiti is criminal damage. To help tackle the graffiti problem in Wandsworth, the council also offers a reward of up to £1,000. To claim this reward your information must have helped in the
conviction of a graffiti vandal.

How do I report graffiti or claim my graffiti reward?

To report graffiti 24 hours a day contact the council's graffiti hotline on 020 8871 7049. You can also email us at housinggraffiti@wandsworth.gov.uk

Download a copy of the graffiti removal indemnity form
This form requires a signature. Please download the form and print it out.
Once you have completed and signed the form, please return it to:
Director of Housing
Chris Buss
Wandsworth Borough Council
17-27 Garratt Lane
London SW18 4AE

SWAAG - (South West Action Against Graffiti)

Wandsworth Council is a founder member of SWAAG, a group of south west London councils who, along with the police, are determined to fight graffiti on all fronts.

One way we plan to tackle graffiti is to ask local retailers to take part in a voluntary ban on the sale of spray paints to under 18s. We are not asking retailers to stop selling these items altogether. However, the vast majority of graffiti in Wandsworth and in the other SWAAG boroughs is perpetrated by young males aged between 12 and 18, and that is why we are targeting this particular group with the campaign.

If you would like to play a part in tackling graffiti in the borough, please join our campaign. Wandsworth and SWAAG members have produced point of sale material, including posters and stickers, for interested retailers to help you get the anti-graffiti message across to your customers and staff. We can get to grips with the graffiti menace if we join forces.

If you want to take part in the SWAAG voluntary ban, or find out more about the campaign
before you sign up, then contact us on 020 8871 8364 or email dcoady@wandsworth.gov.uk

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