Introducing Neighbourhood Watch 3193 Graffiti Busters
Volunteers in action

Finalists - 2020 Keep Victoria Beautiful Awards

We started in Beaumaris and Black Rock but our vision is bigger. We know our concept works and would like to expand, first throughout Bayside and then, who knows. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could clean up the whole of Melbourne! A big vision but with people power and commitment, everything is possible. 

Just some of our work

The NHW - Graffiti Busters story so far

The beginning

In November 2018, Neighbourhood Watch 3193 Volunteers and Committee Members Geoff Bransbury, Ken Beadle and Duncan Gibson decided to do something to get rid of graffiti in Beaumaris. They formed “Graffiti Busters”.

The results have been overwhelmingly successful and have exceeded all expectations.

The founders believed there were many like minded people who hated graffiti and were prepared to get their hands dirty to help eliminate it. They believed that all that was needed was a structure, rules, a process and some leadership to make it happen. This has all proved to be true.

The success speaks for itself. In just a few months, most graffiti has been removed from Beaumaris and Black Rock is well underway. Today, there are over 30 volunteers who are prepared to get involved. Graffiti Busters has been congratulated by the Police, Bayside Council, Beaumaris and Black Rock Traders and local residents.

How it works

Graffiti Busters regard themselves as the local “Graffiti Watch”. We keep our eyes out for graffiti, report it, if on Council Property, or remove it (or paint over it) if on private property (at NO cost to the owners).

We therefore concentrate our efforts on Private Property, mainly the ugly back lanes.  

Private owners should remove the graffiti themselves. Council Local Rules require them to do so and Council could impose a fine for NOT doing so to a maximum of $2000. In reality, Council rarely, if ever fines private owners but all too often, private owners do NOT remove the graffiti themselves; hence the problem we have to day in our city, with ugly graffiti tags seemingly everywhere.

Graffiti Busters rules and standards

Graffiti Busters operates under a set of strict safety, quality and responsibility standards. 

All Volunteers must sign a form to ensure their understanding and acceptance of these rules (Click here). Insurance cover (Public Liability and Personal Accident) is provided to Volunteers whist on “official busts”) via Neighbourhood Watch Victoria Inc.

The key rules are as follows:
  • Approval must be received in writing from property owners, specifically where it is necessary to paint a surface (Click here) Prominent walls or garage doors requiring painting will be colour matched when required by the owner. (the extra cost of paint may be sought)
  • Only quality work is acceptable. We are aiming to enhance the suburb. Patch work is NOT acceptable
  • Graffiti Busters does NOT remove Graffiti that may be seen as artwork.
  • Volunteers must take responsibility for safety and wear supplied safety equipment
  • Safety signage must be displayed on roads or lanes or pavements
  • Graffiti Busters signage should be displayed so that residents know we are volunteers not contractors.

How we fund Graffiti Busters – Graffiti Busters is entirely funded through support and fundraising as follows

  • Bayside Council provides us with graffiti kits and bulk cleaning liquid.
  • Home Hardware supplies us with paint at trade prices. We also obtain perfectly suitable “mis-mixed” paint at discounted prices.
  • Fundraisers by Neighbourhood Watch and donations make up the difference

A very satisfying community activity

Ask a Graffiti Buster and he or she will most likely say it is a very satisfying and good community experience.

A typical “Graffiti Bust” works as follows. Periodically, the Graffiti Buster Volunteers will receive a “Call to Action” A local cafe is nominated as a meeting place where the “Bust” commences with coffee and a chat.

After coffee, those who have turned up commence work on an assigned area. This lasts for about two hours after which the team (or those remaining) return for a final coffee or go home! it’s very casual but effective.

Volunteers receive training and guidance. The work is fairly straight forward but there are some “tips of the trade” that have been learnt.

Support from the Community, Traders, Police, Politicians and Authorities. 

Our efforts have received universal support.

All residents (as far as we know) support our efforts. Certainly all property owners who have had graffiti removed from their property at no cost are delighted!

Bayside Council has supported us with kits and cleaning liquid. 

  • Victoria Police has congratulated us. Senior Sergeant Jim Jackson wrote “The progress NHW Graffiti Busters relating to graffiti and cleaning up our neighbourhood has been outstanding and I’m sure you the community appreciate their efforts.
  • Beaumaris Traders have congratulated us for cleaning up the Concourse. Lew Rimington, former Chairman of Beaumaris Traders wrote “A big thanks to the band of helpers from Neighbourhood Watch that have been seen removing graffiti from all local areas over the last few months. Great Job!”
  • Local Member Brad Rowswell has mentioned our activities in Parliament and is actively seeking to find ways to clean the railway corridor which is a major issue that probably requires political support to resolve. Brad has also created a local video interviewing Graffiti Busters Chairman Geoff Bransbury (click  here)
  • Home Hardware, as mentioned above supports us with trade discounts.