Andrew Foulds, a Thunder Bay city councillor and the chair of the city's Graffiti Advisory Committee, paints over graffiti as part of the launch of the city's graffiti management strategy. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)

City officials in Thunder Bay are asking for the public's help in removing graffiti.

The city launched its graffiti management strategy on Thursday, and is encouraging residents to report any graffiti by using the 2-1-1 information and referral service.

Andrew Foulds, the chair of the city's Graffiti Advisory Committee, said the city wants hate, or gang-related, graffiti removed within 48 hours.

"We want to get hate graffiti … [and] gang graffiti off stuff," Foulds said. "Whether it's private or public, we need to get it down fast."

Home and business owners will be responsible for cleaning up any graffiti on their property.

The city is offering a $50 rebate to help offset the cost. Some full subsidies are also available.

A new by-law approved in March mandates that graffiti be cleaned up by property-owners, but Foulds said he hopes there is no need to enforce it.   He said the by-law provides for the city to do the cleanup itself, then bill the property-owner through taxes.

Foulds said he hopes enforcement is necessary only as a last resort.