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Using Anti-Vandal Paint and Other Methods

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 22 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Anti-vandal Paint anti-climb Paint

Anti-vandal paint is also known as anti-climb, anti-intruder and anti-scale paint. As these names suggest it is intended to prevent intruders from climbing up a surface where it has been applied and gaining access to a property. The paint generally has a gloss appearance and usually comes in dark colours so, for cosmetic reasons, it may not be suitable for all surfaces. Care should be taken to select a product that remains effective in both hot and cold weather conditions. Once applied anti-vandal paint does not dry, leaving a slippery surface which is very difficult to climb. Although it is not usually harmful, it will stain the clothes - and body - of anyone who tries to climb it.

Anti-vandal paint can be used on many surfaces and is often applied to walls and drainpipes - or any other surface or object that an intruder may attempt to climb. The paint is applied with a brush or by hand whilst wearing a protective glove. Once in place it should last for at least a year. However, the lifespan will depend on how often people attempt to climb the surface to which it has been applied.

Anti-Vandal Paint and the Law

Under the Occupier's Liability Act 1984 householders owe a duty of care to anyone on their property, whether they are entitled to be there or not. The duty is to protect people from an injury as a result of a foreseen hazard. If anti-vandal paint has been applied to a wall and an intruder slips and injures himself as a result, this is something that the householder could have predicted. Householders could also be caught up by the Highways Act 1980 if anti-vandal paint is used on a wall or surface which adjoins a public highway. The Highways Act states that care must be taken to avoid "harm or injury" to any person or animal using the highway.

The local crime reduction or crime prevention police officer should be happy to advise householders if they have any doubts about the legality, or efficacy, of any intruder deterrent methods they intend to use.

Discharging the Duty of Care

To discharge the duty of care owed to trespassers, householders must put up a warning sign if they are using anti-vandal paint. The sign or signs should be placed in the area where the paint is being used. Suppliers of anti-vandal paint usually also sell warning signs. In addition the paint should only be applied to surfaces above two metres high so that innocent passers-by do not come into contact with it.

Other Consequences of Anti-Vandal Paint

If anti-vandal paint comes into contact with clothes it is very difficult to remove. This means that, not only is an intruder prevented from breaking in, but that they are much more likely to come to the attention to the police if their hands and clothes are covered with the tell-tale signs of their attempt. Whilst this may give a certain satisfaction when the "victim" is an erstwhile burglar it may be less pleasing if a child, guest or lawful visitor has their clothes ruined by the paint. Householders should also be aware that it can be difficult to carry out repairs to surfaces which have been coated with anti-vandal paint.

Pets, and in particular cats, are also in danger of coming into contact with anti-vandal paint - even if it is only applied to high walls. Whilst it should not be harmful to animals, it could have regrettable consequences for householders when Tiddles comes home after a day on the tiles and settles down on her owner's bed.

Alternative Deterrents

Specially manufactured "non-aggressive" anti-climb systems can be attached to the tops of walls to prevent intruders gaining access in this way. For example, a "spinning" barrier made up of individual rotating cups attached to the top of a high wall prevents an intruder from getting a hand-hold on the wall and climbing over. Trellis fencing attached to the top of a high wall and the use of prickly bushes are both cost-effective and attractive ways of keeping intruders out.

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[Add a Comment]
I live on bus route,do I need permission from anyone to anti vandal paint on my wall to stop people sitting on it.
JoJo shaw - 22-Aug-17 @ 9:44 PM
I am going to put anti climb paint or a strip of spikes on the top of my fence do I need to put warning stickers up.
Mummy1 - 14-May-17 @ 8:20 PM
My cat has come in and walked up and down my cream stair carpet and up and down landing carpet along with 2 sofas ..lots black oily marks all over the place ! turns out neighbour has painted 2 fences with anti vandal paint , I take it this stuff won't come off ?I will be faced with paying out for new carpet and furnishings and unless this is totally removed My 2 cats will have to be imprisoned ....where do I stand?I am devastated !
Sparks - 11-Feb-17 @ 3:51 PM
I've just read about a friend whos neighbour put the paint on her fence to stop my friends cat climbing it as it makes her dog bark. The cat has come in and ruined all her bedding. Where does she stand? Thanks
Bex - 10-Nov-16 @ 10:30 PM
Im having problems with cheeky school kids climbing my fence & wall & fed up with getting a mouth full of abusethis is every day , is there anything i can put on my wall & fence to stop them climbing on it& asking to get down without goin out getting a mouth of abuse & keep calling police each day
Kt - 27-Jul-16 @ 7:33 PM
alcapone - Your Question:
I'm undecided weather or not to put thisaint on our fence the snicket side , the school kids have picked and smashed it in in many places , I was going to just put it near the areas were its been pulled off so when they touch t again they will get t on their hands, am I breaking the law if they et it on them.

Our Response:
Possibly if it's against a public walkway. It might be worth having a word with your local police community support officer for advice on your options.
ProtectingYourself - 1-Jul-16 @ 2:10 PM
I'm undecided weather or not to put thisaint on our fence the snicket side , the school kids have picked and smashed it in in many places , I was going to just put it near the areas were its been pulled off so when they touch t again they will get t on their hands, am I breaking the law if they et it on them.
alcapone - 29-Jun-16 @ 6:04 PM
Scouse - Your Question:
Do I need to ask the council of I can put anti vandal paint to stop intruders entering my property as I wish to carry out building works go make flats I live above a pub and people are breaking into the flats what answers do you have for me please

Our Response:
This depends on the nature of your business etc. Contact your local police or police community support officer for specific advice on your situation.
ProtectingYourself - 21-Jun-16 @ 9:57 AM
Do I need to ask the council of I can put anti vandal paint to stop intruders entering my property as I wish to carry out building works go make flats I live above a pub and people are breaking into the flats what answers do you have for me please
Scouse - 19-Jun-16 @ 4:10 PM
Sammo - Your Question:
Can anyone please tell me if I need to put warning signs to both sides of the fence as the other side backs onto another estate.

Our Response:
You need to put warning signs wherever someone might approach the fence.
ProtectingYourself - 17-Mar-16 @ 11:30 AM
Can anyone please tell me if I need to put warning signs to both sides of the fence as the other side backs onto another estate.
Sammo - 16-Mar-16 @ 9:13 AM
"Under the Occupier's Liability Act 1984 householders owe a duty of care to anyone on their property, whether they are entitled to be there or not.". That says everything about the state this pathetic country is in thanks to Blair and his b*tch of a criminal-loving wife. You have to make sure those poor burglars don't get hurt. I'm surprised we don't have to leave a window open so they don't cut their soft hands on broken glass if they are *forced* to break a window. Maybe we should leave a door unlocked so they don't hurt their hands with a crowbar trying to bust a lock. It's utterly abhorrent that a householder can be sued for protecting their property... no wonder this cr*p-hole of a country is the laughing stock of the world when it comes to self-protection. America gets to use guns, we get to use spinning cups and nice white flowers... it makes me want to vomit.
MrJanus - 11-Jan-16 @ 11:49 AM
Ostevem, I don't see that this would be a great problem. First because it's their problem for climbing over the wall and anyway good stout trousers should prevent paint transfer in the way you state.
Cul - 28-Dec-15 @ 9:14 AM
Howdy would you mind stating which blog latform you're using? I'm planning to start my own blog soon but I'm having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then mopst blogs aand I'm looking for something completely unique. P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!
basketball player - 22-Jul-15 @ 1:15 AM
I have just raised the hight of my rear fence from 2mtrs to 9 foot to try to stop balls hitting my touring caravan will it be OK to grease the top foot as it's bound to get on the balls thanks for any information
0stevem - 20-Jul-15 @ 6:29 PM
@Susie1. Speak to your local police about this. Anti vandal paint should only be applied on site above 2m in height and so young children should not be able to come in contact with it.
ProtectingYourself - 2-Jul-15 @ 2:42 PM
my neighbour has put non drying paint outside on a small wall so teenagers don't sit outside there window, they have got signs to warn people, but as I was waiting outside for a cab with my 2 very young grand-children, the 2 year old touched the wall, got the paint on his hands, face, under nails and clothes, he was taken upstairs to try and wash it of, he hit his mouth on sink as he was struggling and the clothes are ruined, that sort of paint should be used higher up so younger children can't touch
susie1 - 29-Jun-15 @ 11:43 PM
@guy. The law does state that an owner has a duty of care to anyone on their property (whether they should be there or not) although it seems to specifically relate to the prevention of harm or injury. Clearly the children have not been injured, but damage has been done to their/parents' property. It will really be up to the courts to decide what to do in this case and maybe your friend's solicitor will be successful with the lawful excuse argument. The Anti Social behaviour Act may have been useful to your neighbour had he sought alternative courses of action prior to painting the fence.
ProtectingYourself - 1-Oct-14 @ 2:24 PM
My 76 year old friend put black anti vandal paint on the top of his own 6ft garden fence to prevent a neighbour's children climbing into his garden and causing damage. He also painted a thin strip on a flat roofed council shed ownedby the neighbour 7ft off the ground because this was another access point. The children attempted to enter the garden, got the anti vandal paint on their hands, wiped it on their clothing, returned to their garden wiped it on their toys and garden furniture, entered their home, wiped it on the furniture, and three individual internal walls, it isstated causing damage to the value of £3750. He is now to appear at the local magistrates courtcharged with the CPS pleading causation, and our solicitor pleading lawful excuse.There is a history of harassment and previous damage to his property. Have you any advice or comment................................
guy - 1-Oct-14 @ 2:13 PM
"In addition the paint should only be applied to surfaces above two metres high so that innocent passers-by do not come into contact with it." That is nonsense. If signs are clear and visible that is sufficient, as in warnings about wet paint.It just life and life is not idiot proof.I would recommend either antivandal paint to the ground or if it has to be at a self defeating height, to cover the remainder with thick grease.
common sense please - 5-Jun-12 @ 11:27 AM
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