How can I manage graffiti?

Paint tray and roller

Graffiti can quickly transform a neighbourhood by making it seem unsafe, because graffiti is often associated with other crimes.

Graffiti contributes to a decline in property values, increases citizen fear, and potentially reduces retail sales for businesses. For these reasons, it is important to report and remove graffiti quickly.

Integrated Graffiti Management Program

To address the increasing issue of graffiti in Vancouver and keep the city beautiful, Council has reestablished the Integrated Graffiti Management Program. The program will focus on the getting rid of all graffiti, enforcement of the City's graffiti bylaw along with education and prevention initiatives.

The City of Vancouver is committed to removing graffiti quickly from public property, and in supporting businesses and communities to do the same. Graffiti is a criminal offence and is termed "Mischief" under section 430 of the Criminal Code. To help manage graffiti in the city:

Report

  • Everyone shares responsibility for keeping Vancouver beautiful. Residents are encouraged to report graffiti on public and private property by calling 3-1-1 and to call 9-1-1 if they see vandals in the act
  • If the suspects are no longer on scene or if the damage was caused previously, call the Police non-emergency number at 604-717-3321 or report online at www.vpd.ca and use the online citizen reporting option found at Vancouver.ca/police/contact/report-a-crime.html

Record

  • Document the graffiti by taking a picture of the entire tag or word from directly in front of the surface and include any small initials or markings around the edges of the tag
  • Make a note of the date and time
  • Forward a copy of the picture to the police with your contact information

Remove

  • In order to control graffiti the City bylaw requires property owners who have been served a notice by the City to have graffiti removed within 10 days
  • Do not wait for a notice to be served to you if you are a victim of graffiti
  • Your building is less likely to be targeted again if the graffiti is removed quickly

If you do not remove graffiti on your property

Property owners are responsible for the cost of removing graffiti from their building.

The City does not fine the property owner but if you are served with a notification and fail to remove the graffiti, the City has the right to remove it on your behalf and will recover the cost from the property owner.

See below for some of the resources available to you to keep this problem under control.

Graffiti resources

People removing graffiti

Remove graffiti

Find out how to remove graffiti, or tagging, from your property.

graffiti

Answers to graffiti questions

Find answers to your questions around graffiti, tagging, murals, and more.

Graffiti Bylaw

The graffiti bylaw requires property owners to have graffiti removed within 10 days of being served a notice from the City. Graffiti that remains after being reported will be removed and the removal cost will be billed to the property owner. Graffiti is considered vandalism under the law when it is painted on private or public property without permission. The minimum fine for anyone caught writing graffiti is $500 under the bylaw.

Ask. Tell. Connect.

Phone 3-1-1 to ask, tell, and connect with the City

Outside Vancouver:
604-873-7000

Speak your own language

When should you call 9-1-1? Click to find out       Deaf? Have difficulty speaking? Click to learn how to make a TTY call

More ways to contact us

Tell us about graffiti

Is the graffiti on your own property?

  1. Take a photo of the graffiti.
  2. Report it to the Vancouver Police.
  3. Remove the graffiti.

Is it somewhere else?

  1. Report it to 3-1-1. You may be anonymous.
  2. 3-1-1 will notify the right City department.

Last modified: Thu, 19 Jul 2012 09:21:41

Answers to graffiti questionsRemove graffiti