So Safe has partnered with the No Graffiti Network

So Safe & Graffiti EnviroSafe is proud to announce our new partnership with No Graffiti Network! Throughout 2009 we will be working close with Mr Campbell's organisation and communities around the world to reduce the instance of graffiti tagging for good!

If you have a community project you want us to be involved in contact us at

Graffiti linked to personality disorder

ABC Science Online

Wednesday, 13 September 2006

Could graffiti be a sign of something more serious than teen rebellion? (Image: iStockphoto)
Teens who get involved in graffiti 'tagging' may be showing early symptoms of a personality disorder, an Australian psychiatrist says.

Professor Graham Martin, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Queensland and colleagues, studied more than 2600 people aged 13.

He says the study, presented at an international child and adolescent mental health conference in Melbourne this week, found that teens who graffiti "are significantly different to those who do not graffiti".

"They satisfy the ... criteria for conduct disorder and or delinquency and later down the track a number of these young people go on to antisocial behaviour personality disorder," he says.

"These young people ... were very antisocial on a range of other factors. They weren't just mildly conduct disordered, they were scoring to the extreme range of antisocial behaviour."

Martin says the findings of the study show that conventional methods of handling young graffiti offenders, such as dealing with them under the legal system, are doomed to failure.

But he says the good news is that with intensive individual, family and community therapy it's possible to put people back on track.

"Graffiti may be one gateway into working with young people to assist them to find a new direction," he says.

"It may be extending their creative skills or just sitting down with them and saying, listen you've had a bit of a shit life haven't you?"

Subtexts of graffiti

Martin says tagging conveys a number of messages, from saying "hello, I'm here" to being a territorial marker and an expression of rage against authority.

He says the study found adolescent graffitists had done around six to eight other acts, such as setting fires, beating people up and stealing.

They also had higher rates of drug use, academic failure, physical and sexual abuse, depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

Of the teenagers studied, about 12% of boys and almost 11% of girls had done some graffiti.

It may even be possible to pick a future graffitist, Martin says, underlining the importance of early intervention.

"You can pick many of these young people somewhere around the age of three," he says.

"The average kindergarten teacher will tell you, I don't like that child, I can't work with them, they spit at me, they spit at the other kids, they hit people, they won't learn.

"You can certainly predict which ones will go on to antisocial behaviour, and within that graffiti is going to be one of the things that stands out."

Graffiti Removal Techniques - Part One

Technique can make all the difference when removing graffiti from a surface. Whether it be brick, wood, metal or plastic the end result can depend on how you approach it.

Below is a basic method for graffiti removal, should you have any questions or dealing with a specific surface feel free to email SoSafe.

SIMPLE METHOD POROUS SURFACES (Such as concrete, bricks, blocks):
1. Dry surface (most graffiti removal products work best on dry surfaces)
2. Scrub surface with a nylon hard bristle or wire brush, to break the seal.
3. Apply graffiti removing product, with sprayer or paint brush.
4. Wait a minimum of 3 minutes.
5. Scrub surface again with a nylon hard bristle or scourer. NOTE: different scrubing tools work better than others, try using various tools to find what works best on your surface.
6. Repeat steps 2 to 5, keep area wet with graffiti removal product, until all graffiti is loose.
7. Remove chemicals with a hose or high pressure water blaster (preferable), working slowly back facing
the wind at a 45ยบ angle, approx 20 cm away from the surface up to 3000 psi.
8. If shadow exist repeat process.
9. Coat surface with a semi sacrificial surface graffiti protection, to make it easier for future graffiti removal.

METHOD SENSITIVE SURFACES (Such as colour bond):
1. Dry surface (most graffiti removal products work best on dry surfaces)
2. Clean surface with a white rag..
3. Apply graffiti removing product, with a white rag.
4. Wait 30 seconds.
5. Rub surface with rag or with a soft scourer.
6. Repeat steps 2 to 5, keep area wet with graffiti removal product, until all graffiti is removed.
7. Remove chemical with a hose or bucket of water until graffiti chemical is removed from surface.
8. If shadow exist repeat process.

Always remember that there are many methods of graffiti removal and no one method to suit all surfaces. Contact a SoSafe Authorised Trainer for specific assistance on any surface.

The war on graffiti

MANLY Council has declared war on graffiti, as dozens of the area’s buildings become magnets for the illegal scrawl. Graffiti vandalism removal and prevention programs cost the council more than $100,000 last year.

The cost, plus the blight on Manly’s visual landscape, has so enraged some councillors that one even called for those perpetrators who are caught to be publicly shamed.

Following a motion by new Mayor Jean Hay, the council will call on the NSW Attorney General and the Local Government Association to hold a leaders’ summit on the problem.

The council will also lead a meeting of its community safety committee and youth council with the police, school principals and State Transit Police to formulate a joint approach to graffiti.

The council is also launching a public awareness campaign within the Manly community and in the area’s schools. It has vowed to continue funding a dob-in-a-vandal initiative, which offers a $1000 reward for information that leads to a conviction.

Cr Hay said a spate of recent vandalism prompted her to call for action on "the selfish acts of graffiti vandals’’.

"During the school holidays there has been an incredible amount of graffiti,’’ she said. "A number of public parks, playgrounds and other public assets in Manly were attacked.

"Aside from the cost of clean-up, the council’s limited resources, which would have been otherwise deployed, had to be diverted to deal with the clean-up.’’

Cr Mark Norek even called for the council to go one step further and publicly name and shame offenders.

Manly Council has a hotline for residents to report graffiti or dob in a vandal. Phone 99761633. Jean Hay as "fun and secure.’’

In the News

Welcome to the SoSafe Graffiti Removers 'In the News' page. Here you will find the latest product updates, information, news and press on the SoSafe Graffiti Removal range.