The use of spray paint has caused problems for communities and property owners by the proliferation of graffiti. In 2003, as part of a clamp down on Anti-Social Behaviour, the government banned the supply of spray paints to persons under 16.
The legislation is contained within the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.
- It is illegal to supply an aerosol paint container to a person under 16 years of age.
- The container must contain paint under pressure designed to emit the paint as a spray (i.e. spray paint).
- A person may be fined up to £2,500 for a breach.
- It is a defence for the person who supplied the paint to show that they took steps to verify the age of the purchaser and that he reasonably believed the person to be over 16 years of age.
- It is a defence for a person who employs the person that supplied the paint to show that they took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid selling the paint to persons under 16 years of age.
In 2005, the Government added a duty for local trading standards departments to carry out an annual review of enforcement of the spray paint restriction and to come up with an enforcement plan.