Graffiti Prevention

Graffiti has a negative impact on the entire community. Whether it is called “art”, tagging or “spilling ink”, it’s an eye sore and a crime. Taggers typically ply their trade in the dark, are rarely seen and are hard to catch. However, their crime is left in the open for all to see. The key to graffiti prevention is the combination of community involvement, targeted law enforcement action, youth involvement and using both the criminal and civil legal processes.
Prevention techniques

  • Remove graffiti as soon as possible - It is easiest within the first 24 hours
  • Apply anti-graffiti coating to surfaces whenever possible for easier removal
  • Stop rooftop access by moving cars, dumpsters and keep pallets away from buildings 
  • Keep your property well lit. Install motion activated lighting in low traffic areas
  • Plant hardy shrubbery or trees to cover current or potential graffiti areas
  • Keep your property neat and clean - Neglected property often attracts more graffiti vandalism
  • Paint a mural to cover areas that are continuously plagued
  • Use dark colored exterior walls
  • If someone is writing graffiti, call 911 immediately
  • Develop activity programs for at-risk youth
  • Get involved with your local Block Watch or Business Watch programs
Graffiti removal

  • Consider the surface material used before selecting a removal method
  • Methods: Painting, sanding, scraping, chemical removers, power washing and wet/dry sandblasting
  • Power washing and sanding can wear down underlying materials
  • When possible, paint the entire surface to a uniform color so future “hits” can be covered easily 
  • Scrapers can remove sticker tagging from poles, boxes, etc.
  • If using chemical removers, ALWAYS consult the directions for safety and precautions
  • Do not let paint-contaminated material flow into storm drains - they flow directly into creeks
  • Match the paint color - primers help! 
  • Ask community members to help you remove and prevent graffiti in your community
Tips

  • Graffiti is a crime!
  • Remove graffiti as quick as possible
  • Get involved in the community