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Graffiti and fly posting

Graffiti and fly-posting can occur anywhere but are usually found in urban locations. Graffiti hotspots include town and city centres, local shopping centres and parades, and transport interchanges.

Graffiti and fly-posting can make a neighbourhood appear run down and neglected and make residents feel unsafe.


Graffiti is any illegal marking to walls and other surfaces. It covers a wide variety of forms including ‘masterpieces’, ‘tags’, juvenile scribbles, scratchings and etchings.

Tags are often the most noticeable owing to their size, colour and location; however they only form part of the problem, 29% of all graffiti. A much bigger contribution is made by juveniles, 53%.

English councils spend £27 million a year on graffiti removal and almost 90% of local authorities think it is a problem in their area.

Graffiti is illegal and prosecutions can be brought under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 (section 1). Prosecution can lead to a jail sentence of up to 10 years, a fine, or a detention and training order for those under the age of 18.


Fly-posting is the display of advertising on buildings and street furniture without the consent of the owner. The three main types of fly-posting are: advertising for local events; posters advertising products of large organisations put up by professional poster companies; and posters displayed by pressure groups or political bodies.

More than eight out of ten local authorities have a problem with fly-posting, which costs council tax payers thousands of pounds a year to remove.

Fly-posting is illegal and anyone caught fly-posting can be fined or prosecuted. Under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 the maximum fines for fly-posting is £2500.

Who is responsible for removing graffiti and fly-posting?

Rochford District Council may remove graffiti / fly-posting from residential properties.

Small businesses and Parish Council property can have graffiti / fly-posting removed by Rochford District Council but at a charge.

Graffiti / fly-posting on utilities, large business, public highway or Essex County Council property is not removed by Rochford District Council, however the owner of the property will be informed.

What can you do?

Please report any graffiti or fly-posting in your local area to us, see the Related Content.