​Tagging is images or lettering which are painted, drawn, scrawled or scratched - or any form of marking on property that does not belong to the person carrying out this activity.

Tagging is unwanted vandalism that has a profound effect on people's sense of safety. It is a criminal offence.

Fast facts

  • Most tagging is caused by spray paint cans or felt pens
  • One spray can, can cause over $7000 worth of damage
  • Hamilton City Council currently spends approximately $700,000 dollars per year on graffiti eradication​

​0800 TAGBUSTERS - Council's tagging report hotline

Graffiti anywhere in the city can be reported by calling 0800 TAGBUSTERS (0800 824 287) to Report it, Remove it and Stop it.

The tagging hotline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When a member of the public makes a call, Council staff take the details of the tagging, which is dispatched to one of our Graffiti Removal Technicians. The Tagbusters Team aims to remove all publicly reported graffiti within two working days.

You can also report tagging by ema​​il, on our Facebook page or our Customer Service Line 07 838 6699.

Council's top priority is to remove all tagging on property which is visible from public spaces. By calling 0800 TAGBUSTERS (0800 824 287) the public can also request free tips on the best way to remove other tagging and keep their property safe from future vandalism.

Council actively works to develop and implement Proactive, Reactive and Enforcement strategies to ensure a comprehensive response to graffiti vandalism in our communities. We would love to hear from you if you have any ideas for ongoing development of these strategies that will continue to reduce graffiti vandalism in Hamilton.

Another component of our work is our mural programme; working with artists to paint murals on some of the more tagged public sites; bus shelters, buildings and public toilets. ​


What you can do

Apart from calling TAGBUSTERS to report tagging there are some things you can to protect yourself and your community:

Avoid being a target

  • Paint your fences and walls in dark colours that will cover in one coat: Unpainted fences are a great target for taggers.
  • Plant small trees or shrubs along fence lines to minimise surfaces that can be vandalised.
  • Remove tagging as soon as it appears. By acting quickly and removing the tagging, offenders are discouraged if you deny them exposure they are seeking.
  • Keep a small quantity of the paint used to paint your fence or walls: If you are tagged, you can quickly remove the tagging with the paint you have saved.
  • Join a Neighbourhood Support Group: Contact the Police who can assist you in contacting your nearest group. Call the Hamilton Police on 07 858 6200.

Report it, remove it

Fast removal of tagging is the key to remaining tag-free.

Keep an eye on groups acting suspiciously: Most tagging offenders are aged 10-21 years old.

Tagging is a crime, so if you see someone in the act of tagging, call the Police on 111: Get as many facts as you can that will assist Police in locating the offender:

  • Physical description of the offender
  • Description of the tagging (such as paint, words, colour)
  • Record vehicle number plates and descriptions
  • Take photographs that clearly show the tagging

Tagging is not just a Council or Police problem; it's a community issue best tackled together. Crime can't survive in a community that cares. Remember, taggers get away with graffiti because people are reluctant to get involved. Don't give up - the message will get through that we take pride in our community. ​

Page reviewed: 31 Jan 2020 8:50am