Fly posting is an illegal, anti-social activity that creates a negative impression of an area and contributes to people's fear of crime. West Northamptonshire Council removes fly posting from public structures. Fly posting on private structures is the responsibility of the landowners. 


What is fly-posting?

Why is fly-posting a problem?

What action can the Council take to address fly-posting?

How do I report a problem with fly-posting?


What is fly-posting?


Fly posting is the illegal display of advertisements for products or events on buildings and street furniture without the consent of the owner. Fly posting can be divided into three types

1. Adverts primarily for local events, put up in large numbers on a regular basis. These may advertise music events, pubs/clubs, car-boot sales etc. They may be attached to lamp posts, railings, and other types of street furniture or affixed on buildings.

2. Posters advertising the products of large organisations and put up by professional poster companies. These are usually large higher quality, colour posters, such as national events. These are often pasted on vacant buildings or billboards.

3. Posters displayed by pressure groups or political bodies. These are generally ad-hoc with no clear pattern to their location.

There are other types of unauthorised advertisements such as ‘A’ boards which do not fall into the normal definition of fly posting.

Why is fly-posting a problem?


  • It is unsightly - fly posting is associated with anti social behaviour and neglected areas and can discourage visitors and investments to the area;
  • It is illegal - fly posting is an illegal activity and enforcement action can be taken against those who affix such material;
  • It is costly to remove - it costs councils thousands to remove;
  • It is unsafe - some types of fly posting can be dangerous to pedestrians but can also cause damage to the surface of which it is attached.


What action can the Council take to address fly-posting?


The Council currently remove all graffiti from council owned property including litter bins, council houses and playgrounds. Any graffiti on private property or parish council owned land is the proprietors responsibility.  However, if the graffiti on private land is offensive or particularly unsightly the Council can take action against the landowner to clear the graffiti.

Those who cause graffiti can be issued with a fixed penalty notice and fined £150 or if the offence is serious, or repeated the offender can be prosecuted under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 and can face a fine of up to £5000. However young offenders or those under the age of 16 may receive a community service order.


What about fly-posting on private property?


Any illegal display of advertising will be investigated by the council. Where possible enforcement action will be taken against the person who affixed the poster/sign and the person responsible for the material.

We can remove any poster or placard displayed on council property in contravention of the Advertisements Regulations by using the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and any sign or picture attached to street furniture or on the public highway using the Highways Act 1980.

How do I report a problem with fly-posting?


Please contact us using the details below to report instances of fly posting to enable us to remove the advertising material. The quicker we receive the report the quicker we can remove it. If you witness someone affixing a poster please note the following and contact us with the details:

  • The date, time and place of the incident;
  • A description and size of the fly posters;
  • A description of the person affixing them and the vehicle used.


Enforcement investigations can commence if sufficient evidence is available but we need your help in such cases by reporting such crimes.






To report an instance of fly-posting use the Contact us link below. Alternatively, you can download the Environmental Crime Reporting Booklet, complete it and return it to the Council.  If you know of an offender report them to us through the hotline or online and we will where possible undertake an enforcement investigation. If you witness someone fly-posting property do not approach them but record all necessary details and report them to the council when possible.  


Contact us