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Graffiti removal programs — information for professionals

Graffiti removal legislation was introduced as part of the Criminal Law and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2013.

The laws have increased the maximum penalty for graffiti crime. They also require offenders to spend time removing graffiti.

These graffiti removal laws apply when a young offender commits a wilful damage by graffiti offence. See s. 469, item 9 of the Criminal Code for more information.

In line with these laws, we hold young offenders accountable by making them do unpaid graffiti removal work in the community. This provides a direct consequence for their offending.

Young graffiti offenders will be made to clean up graffiti via 3 program pathways:

  • mandatory court sentencing
  • police diversion
  • conferencing agreements.

Mandatory court sentencing

A court must make a graffiti removal order for young offenders if they are:

  • aged 12 and over at the time of the offence
  • found guilty or plead guilty to a wilful damage by graffiti offence.

The young offender will need to take part in a graffiti removal program as part of their graffiti removal order.

Youth justice officers will organise the graffiti removal program.

Police diversion

If a young graffiti offender admits guilt, a police officer may refer them to a graffiti removal program instead of bringing the matter before a court.

As part of their graffiti removal program, which our youth justice officers will set up, the young offender must do 2 hours of unpaid graffiti removal work.

The police may take further action if the young offender fails to complete the program. They may bring before a court the graffiti offence matter as well as the offence of failing to comply with a police direction.

Youth justice conference agreements

If a police officer refers an offender to a youth justice conference following an admission of guilt, the conference agreement must include a graffiti removal program (similar to one ordered under a court sentenced graffiti removal order) unless the victim of the offence asks that the offence be dealt with in another lawful way. The agreement cannot be stricter than the sentence a court may order.

More information