Network rail in The West Midlands has set up a Graffiti Hit Squad to target what it describes as “vandalism” on the railway network in the region. The news was published on the 23rd August and comes at a time when the UK Is looking to open up the railways fully and welcome back rail customers across the national network.

Network Rail and West Midlands Rail Executive are investing more than £700,000 to clean up and remove the graffiti from line-side areas and bridges which many see as unsightly vandalism, and not the art that some more famous graffiti artists might class it as.

"Removing graffiti is an ongoing battle but we know the majority of people hate it as much as we do,” said Network Rail’s Allun Edge. “Trespassing on the railway to do it can also have fatal consequences and it’s simply not worth risking your life to spray a wall with a tag."

Despite those caught causing graffiti risking being prosecuted under the Criminal Damage Act 1971, although prosecutions are rare, this seems to be a problem that won’t go away.  

 According to some estimates, the UK annual costs for cleaning up graffiti is over £1 billion and London Underground alone says it spends up to £12.5m a year to remove the Graffiti and to replace all the glass etched with graffiti and to clean up other forms of graffiti. The local authority is usually responsible for the cost of removing graffiti from public buildings and BT, The Rail Network, Adshell or the utility companies are responsible for the cost of removing graffiti from their own property and buildings.  Network Rail reportedly spends £3.5m a year on removing graffiti from the rail network.

If you or your business has been the victim of unwanted graffiti, you have a couple of options available to you; firstly, you can pay for a specialist cleaning company to remove the unwanted graffiti for you (which in some serious cases could be the only option) or you can use the correct materials and clean the affected area yourself.

One of the bestselling Graffiti cleaning products available is a specially formulated graffiti removal solvent by Tetrosyl. Despite being branded as graffiti removal, giving the impression it is for large scale problems, it is also excellent at removing smaller ‘permanent’ marks from surfaces and is useful to have around the office for smaller mishaps as well as larger scale Graffiti removal