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City of Winnipeg
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Public Works

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Graffiti Control

Who to call:

  • Report Graffiti Vandalism: 204-986-6222

  • Request Help With Graffiti Cleanup: 311

  • Submit an anonymous Crime Stoppers tip: 204-786-TIPS

You can also Report A Crime Online - Damage/Mischief to Property (under $5000)

Please note that graffiti on hydro poles can be reported to Manitoba Hydro. Graffiti on telephone poles can be reported to MTS.

What is Graffiti?

Graffiti is more than words and symbols sprayed on a wall. Graffiti is an act of vandalism that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up every year.

Download the Graffiti Control Brochure

Consequences of graffiti include:

  • Sending a message that nobody cares about the area.
  • Causing an area to look unsafe making people feel concerned about their personal safety. 
  • Creating an open invitation for more littering, loitering, and other graffiti. 
  • Decreasing pride in a community, where businesses may suffer and neighbourhoods may deteriorate.
  • Areas becoming less appealing to those who may be looking to buy or rent property. 
  • Properties becoming more difficult to sell and values are reduced.
Graffiti done without the owner’s permission is not art, it's a CRIME!

Graffiti Removal Service

Things you should know about Winnipeg’s free, year-round graffiti removal service:

  • Removal equipment includes soda blasters, pressure washers, paint sprayers, and chemical wipes and sprays.
  • A paint matcher is used to identify paint colours to prevent patchy paint jobs.
  • To participate in the program, you must provide your permission to remove graffiti from your property. Complete a waiver form (English or French) and mail it to the address shown on the form to the attention of: Graffiti Coordinator.  We'll take care of the rest.
  • Free materials are provided to individuals who are willing to clean up the graffiti. Paint vouchers and graffiti wipes are available at your local police district. Request a graffiti coupon after completing the graffiti report in person at a Police Station or Service Centre. Coupons can be redeemed at a participating Dulux Paints location listed below. Multiple coupons/vouchers cannot be combined and are redeemable for 1 gallon of acrylic flat latex paint, 9410-0 line only. Substitutions are allowed and coupons have no cash value.
    • 801 Century St
    • 994 Nairn Ave
    • 200 Meadowood Dr
    • 4910 Roblin Blvd
    • 3149 Portage Ave
    • 1204 Portage Ave
    • 1436 McPhillips St
    • 100 Regent Ave West
    • 72 Nature Park Way
    • 1128 Henderson Hwy

What should I do if I am the victim of graffiti?

If graffiti appears on your property, it is important to remove it as soon as possible

Things you should know when you are the victim of graffiti:

  • There is a misconception that you will anger the taggers if you remove the graffiti and they will retaliate. While graffiti may reappear, if you remove it again within 24 hours, taggers most likely will become discouraged and move on to a property where the owner does not act.
  • The Winnipeg Police Service works with the graffiti removal service to enforce the law as well as to provide prevention and awareness programs.
  • When you report graffiti to the police, you will receive a voucher that can be used for paint and other supplies at a number of paint supply locations.
  • For assistance with graffiti removal, call 311 and complete and submit the waiver form.
Immediately report all graffiti in progress by phoning
Police Non-Emergency at 204-986-6222.
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Graffiti Removal and Maintenance

The following information is presented as a guide only.

There are a number of effective graffiti removal products available. These products are designed to work on a variety of wall surfaces. It is a good idea to consult your local paint store or professional graffiti removal service prior to using these products, and don’t forget to follow manufacturer’s directions.

Non-Sensitive Surfaces (such as painted wood siding, and painted concrete)

  • Paint the surface with an appropriate colour. 
  • Some tags may require two or more coats. 
  • Let the paint dry before attempting a second coat. 

Sensitive Surfaces (such as brick, stucco, cedar fencing, metal, and glass)

Brick, Cement, and Concrete

  • If you do not want to paint the surface, consider contacting a contractor who can soda blast the surface.
  • Send a signed waiver to the graffiti removal service office, and a City crew will respond in a prioritized manner. 
  • Be aware that soda blasting may leave a shadow.

Stucco

  • Typically, it is most effective to paint over stucco using an appropriate colour.
  • If you do not want the surface painted, pressure washing and soda blasting may be used. If you are interested in this option, send a signed waiver to the graffiti removal service office or contact a contractor.
  • Be aware that soda blasting or pressure washing may chip the stucco or leave a shadow.

Metal, Aluminum Siding, and Fiberglass

  • Graffiti wipes or sprays may remove the graffiti. 
  • These chemicals can be purchased at most paint stores. 
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • You may need to let chemicals sit and then go over the area again to remove all the graffiti. 
  • Make sure to test a small area first.

Glass and Plexiglass

  • Do not use solvents such as acetone, silicone spray, or laquer thinner because they attack the surface.
  • Use graffiti wipes or spray.
  • Make sure to pretest the surface on a hidden area if uncertain of the effect on the base material.

Stickers

  • A growing trend in graffiti is the use of stickers, such as “Hello My Name Is” stickers. 
  • Remove as much of the sticker as possible. 
  • Nail polish remover, lighter fluid, or wipes can be used to remove residue.

REMINDER: When painting, do not just cover the tag. Small patches look bad and invite taggers back.  Choose a top line and cover the wall down to the ground. You do not necessarily have to paint the entire wall, but make sure that it looks professional.


Tips for Preventing Graffiti

Minimizing graffiti on your property begins with keeping the property clean and well maintained.

Other ways to prevent graffiti include:

  • Fencing, increased lighting, and motion sensor lighting contribute to reducing crime, including graffiti, in your neighbourhood.
  • For vulnerable walls, use clinging vegetation, like ivy, to eliminate large writing surfaces.
  • If your property has been tagged with graffiti, rapid removal, notably within 24 to 48 hours, reduces the chance of being tagged again.
  • If your building has a sensitive surface, such as brick or stucco, consider applying a protective anti-graffiti coating. This is especially advantageous if your property is repeatedly targeted with graffiti.
  • Have a neighbourhood meeting to discuss solutions.
    • Form a neighbourhood graffiti removal crew.
    • Adopt a street, park, school, church, or business that is a target for graffiti.
    • Involve young people in the cleanup.

Charitable Partnering Opportunities

The graffiti removal service helps sponsor murals proposed to deter graffiti.

  • We also provide materials to individuals or community groups willing to remove graffiti.
  • We are happy to help schools, church groups, and communities organize a paint-out or graffiti removal initiative.
  • Call 311 for more information.

Community Resources

  • The City of Winnipeg graffiti removal service helps sponsor mural programs and provides materials to community groups willing to remove graffiti.
  • The Winnipeg Police Service actively works with the community to control graffiti through enforcement, as well as prevention and awareness programs.
  • Report graffiti vandals to Crime Stoppers.
  • Take Pride Winnipeg!, in cooperation with the City of Winnipeg, focuses on education programs, organizes volunteer paint-outs, and manages the citywide mural program.
  • Various Winnipeg BIZ associations, including the Downtown BIZ, also work in cooperation with the City of Winnipeg to help keep neighbourhoods graffiti-free.
  • Call 311.

Last update: March 15, 2017