A 17-year-old graffiti vandal has been made to clean up his act.

The Werribee teen was last month charged with a criminal offence for his tagging and ordered by a court to pay an undisclosed sum in compensation for the vandalism.

Wyndham safer communities portfolio holder Kim McAliney said the council was determined to remove illegal graffiti as quickly as possible “to keep our city looking neat and tidy and also to discourage other vandals from adding their tags”.

Cr McAliney said that while the prosecution of graffiti perpetrators was important, education was the key to prevention.

In the past 18 months, more than 1000 students across 17 Wyndham schools have participated in an early intervention program aimed at deterring young people from tagging.

Wyndham city operations director Stephen Thorpe said while the program had been offered to students across a range of year levels in both primary and high schools, “year 8 students are most responsive to the program, and are at a great age to be influenced to reduce risks of offending”.

Mr Thorpe said the council had received 3739 reports of graffiti in 2018, down from 4243 in 2017.

Graffiti sightings can be reported by calling 8734 2709 and following the prompts or emailing graffiti@wyndham.vic.gov.au