Graffiti removal

Graffiti never fails to arouse debate. While people involved with graffiti consider it as a form of legitimate art, many people - property owners, government, concerned citizens, and police - consider it as vandalism. We need to make that distinction:

Without the owners permission, graffiti is criminal damage.

Graffiti vandalism in Calderdale is not just restricted to council property. It can appear on any property and everyone has to play his or her part to keep Calderdale looking smart.

Graffiti removal service

Calderdale Council provides a graffiti removal service to the public as well as other agencies and authorities.

Removal is usually carried out following a report from a member of the public or from an inspection made by the mobile graffiti teams.

Report it online

To report a graffiti problem, please contact the graffiti helpline with details of the location affected or do it online.

Report graffiti or flyposting

Graffiti removal is prioritised according to the content of the graffiti with racist or overtly offensive graffiti being given highest priority and dealt with within 24 hours. Other types of graffiti will take up to three days to remove.

Methods of removal

Pressure, soda washers, chemicals and paints are all tools that aid the graffiti removal teams to combat graffiti. The high-pressure washer can be set to a light or heavy pressure to remove graffiti from almost all surfaces. For stubborn graffiti a soda wash is used. This unusual method involves firing granules of bicarbonate of soda at 90 miles per hour to erode paint from buildings and structures. Both these methods are environmentally friendly, do not cause damage to any surface, and both help keep Calderdale free of graffiti.

Each incident of graffiti is digitally photographed. These allow us to track patterns of the same graffiti throughout areas and pass this valuable information onto the police.

Types of graffiti

There are many different types of graffiti:

Photographs showing different types of graffiti
  • Tagging

    This is perhaps the most frequent type of graffiti. People have their own signs, or 'tags', to identify themselves. These are put in as many places as possible to show that the writer has been there.

    Graffiti 'crews' use 'tags' to communicate territory - some of the main reasons for joining a 'crew' can be for identity, social status and a misplaced concept of power.

  • 'Pieces'

    Are larger pictures, more traditionally associated with graffiti. These can have some artistic merit in the correct context.

  • 'Dutch Graffiti'

    This is where people scratch into glass, for example on a bus or train, with a sharp implement like a key or bottle top.

  • Slogans

    These are often just sprayed onto large walls, and are often designed to be offensive. They may be racist, sexist or homophobic. Other slogans may be political.


Calderdale attracts visitors and investors from all over the country and local residents and workers need to feel that their area is cared for, therefore we need to work together to create a positive impression, and a clean environment.

One of the Councils priorities is "To secure a clean and attractive built and natural environment". Therefore doing nothing about graffiti is not an option.

If you have information about graffiti or any other crime, please phone Yorkshire and Humber Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111:

  • your call is free
  • you do not have to give your name

Graffiti removal helpline

You can contact the Graffiti helpline with details of the location affected online:

Report graffiti or flyposting

Safer Cleaner Greener Services - working within your Neighbourhood Areas, delivering street cleansing, grounds maintenance, countryside services, play ground maintenance, tree management, park and nature reserve management services.

See also