Fremantle Graffiti, Crime or Art


The title above is a question only for Fremantle, it seems quite clear everywhere else.

Picture above shows Fremantle’s Heritage D.O.D. Married quarters, this is an ongoing  crime with constant graffiti.

Oxford dictionary describes  graffiti as

Writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place:the station was covered in graffiti.  mid 19th century: from Italian (plural), from graffio ‘a scratch’.”

Wiki describes at as

“Graffiti is writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface, often in a public place.[1] Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and it has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt,Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire.[2]

In modern times, paint (particularly spray paint) and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner’s consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime.”


The state law of W.A.  says

Criminal Code

“In Western Australia, under the Criminal Code Act Compilation Act 1913, graffiti vandalism (graffiti) is a criminal offence.  The 2010 doubling of penalties and legislative inclusions banning sale and supply of spray paint and certain implements to juveniles elevates the seriousness of graffiti as a criminal damage offence.

The way in which graffiti has been managed in the past has been determined mainly by responding to community concerns rather than through a more focused, intelligence led and research-based approach.

Graffiti Vandalism is illegal and police are now taking a tougher approach in targeting offenders.”


So its quite clear if you graffiti on someones property with out permission its a crime, not really anything to do with art, if someone gives permission for a, whats the term, ,,, urban artist to paint their wall or property, its allot different than someone with their face covered creeping around in the middle of the night, vandalising stuff.


So i don’t know, where the City of Fremantle can decide whats a criminal act or not i thought that’s what we had, a police department and court system for? They either had permission or not, who cares what they drew, after the fact is a little late, isn’t it.

So if crime looks good is it ok? Maybe if your balaclava is hand knitted from yaks wool by mountain monks it better than the guys B&E with a Tar-jay $1.99 stocking? I don’t think so. Can we as a community condone criminal acts because a few think its artist, is that a new catch cry  for Fremantle, “Artist Crime”?

For a community to have direction on wrong or right its better for the leaders to give the same signals, as not to add confusion on whats acceptable and whats not? Case in point.

Brad is (news article) seen standing in front of some mural in town, which if was done with permission, is not considered graffiti and in some cases look better than a plain panted wall, i wouldn’t call it graffiti, whether people like it or not its personal taste.


Look at Points St or its car park graffiti tagging is out of control, can u find a street in Fremantle that’s not tagged? Fremantle has become a magnet for taggers.

East Fremantle has another spin on it, so what happens after the amalgamation, is graffiti now art in EF? A quote from community news paper “Fremantle Police acting Senior Sergeant Adrian Roberts said he had noticed an increase in the number of graffiti cases in the past few months, with a high number of perpetrators claiming they believed it was now legal to graffiti in Fremantle.”

A  quote from the Goodbye Graffiti website run the WA Police force,

“The development of the ‘broken windows theory’ by Wilson and Kelling[3], proposed that the presence of graffiti may impact on the level of crime. They identified that a disorderly environment sends a message that no one is in charge, thus weakening community controls and inviting criminal behaviour. Graffiti that is not removed may therefore attract more graffiti[4].  Rapid removal may be seen as a means to reduce further graffiti incidences and prevent escalation into more serious crime by maintaining and restoring the community environment.”

Asian tourism is the fastest growing market in the our country, graffiti sends a message of disorder, crime, danger, lack of personnel safety, lack of respect, etc, This is not going to help tourism in general, its also one of the 1st sights our cruise ship visitors see and does not make  a positive 1st impression.

Want to Report Graffiti in your area or 1800 44 22 55


Leave a Reply


  1. Jayne says:

    The problem is that Freo can set the bar pretty low when it comes to calling things “art”. The “Bathers Beach Art Precinct” is a case in point (apart from the fantastic underwater photography) and I hope some of the artworks around Fishing Boat Harbour were self funded. So it’s only a matter of time before the bins spilling over with rubbish are identified as modern sculpture and the Freo Council rewards vandals with a graffiti competition. Seems to me the money to concrete South Beach and on useless visioning reports would be much better spent cleaning up the city.

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