Shaping our city

Council blitz removing graffiti at record levels

A smiling man removes graffiti from the hand of a statue

We are scrubbing the city clean, removing a record 80,000m2 of graffiti since the start of the year.   

The majority of this work was during our ambitious four-month Clean Melbourne Graffiti Blitz.

Since the blitz began in March, our Rapid Response Clean Team completed more than 22,000 jobs.

‘Our Rapid Response Clean Team has done an incredible job to scrub the city clean as we see more workers, students and visitors return to the city – removing nearly two MCGs worth of graffiti in less than four months,’ Acting Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said.

‘We’re leading the charge to tackle illegal graffiti by cleaning Council-owned buildings and stepping in to help property owners clean up their assets.

‘During the blitz, nearly 90 per cent of our Clean Team’s work was removing graffiti from privately owned buildings and assets.’

More than 30 per cent of the graffiti removed was from the central city, with North Melbourne and Carlton accounting for about 25 per cent. West Melbourne and Kensington accounted for 17 per cent of total graffiti jobs.

More than 75 per cent of the Clean Team’s work was on privately owned commercial buildings and private street assets. Ten per cent of graffiti removal was from private residential properties and 12 per cent from Council-owned assets.

This significant work follows a decision to help fast-track graffiti removal from private properties, enabling us to step in to support property owners with their own graffiti removal where possible.

The amount of graffiti cleaned every month has more than doubled since the start of the pandemic – from an average of 4000m2 a month in 2019 to 8500m2 during the blitz. Graffiti reporting has also doubled in this time.

We continue to work closely with Victoria Police to identify and deter offenders. During the blitz, 22 people were arrested for illegal tagging, using information and footage we supplied.

We are continuing our campaign to tackle illegal graffiti with a record $28.2 million investment in our latest Budget, including $1.5 million to expand the Rapid Response Clean Team.

We encourage property owners to play their part as well by cleaning up their assets, and contacting us if they need assistance. Residents and visitors can report graffiti using QR codes located around the city.

‘We know graffiti is an increasing problem across Melbourne and we can’t deal with it alone,’ Cr Reece said.

‘We’re calling on property owners and government agencies act on their civic responsibility to clean and maintain their assets to improve the look and feel of our great city.

‘We know everyone is furious at the amount of vandalism and graffiti that has occurred over the past few years. We want to stamp out this destructive scourge and make Melbourne a city we can all be proud of again.’

The Clean Melbourne Graffiti Blitz ran from 6 March to 30 June to combat illegal graffiti and tagging, improve public spaces and ensure the city is sparkling to entice people in.

To report unwanted graffiti or a street cleaning issue, visit Rapid Response Clean Team.

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