Graffiti is a crime and it causes harm to the communities that it affects. The most common graffiti is called “Tagging”. Taggers go out during the hours of darkness and paint their “tag” on surfaces around town. These vary is style and sophistication. “Taggers” are fast, and even more elaborate graffiti can be put up in a very short window of time. This makes the crime of graffiti very hard to catch. To reduce and prevent graffiti crime requires businesses, and individuals to work with city officials and law enforcement as a team.
Graffiti has a direct negative impact on our community, neighborhoods, and property values. It can constitute a threat to public safety and welfare because the graffiti may be associated with gang activity and other criminal acts. If graffiti is not promptly removed, it encourages the creation of additional tagging. The City’s Graffiti Abatement Program is designed to rid our city of unsightly graffiti. City departments collaborate with the community partners and business owners to remove graffiti as soon as possible.
Graffiti Abatement Program
Graffiti is a crime that impacts the entire community. This Graffiti Abatement program aims to eradicate graffiti through enhanced enforcement, rapid removal, and community beautification partnerships.
Graffiti can be reported to Code Enforcement directly at 360-793-1125.
With collaboration across several departments, the City aims to remove graffiti on public property as soon as possible. For private properties, the Code Enforcement division will first notify the property owner of the graffiti and provide a reasonable amount of time to remove it.
Removing graffiti and repairing the damage is costly. Property is devalued, business owners can lose customers and the presence of graffiti sends a message that a neighborhood could be in decline. It is our desire to assist property owners in locating resources to supplement their efforts to abate and deter graffiti.
Frequently asked questions:
Graffiti is defined as writing, drawings or symbols applied to any surface without the consent of the property owner. Graffiti can cause permanent destruction to private or public property, by means to include but not limited to painting, marking, defacing or etching any inscription onto such property. Some graffiti is gang-related, but most is simply tagging. When used by gangs, graffiti elevates violence and promotes gang membership.
Tagging is the permanent marking of public or private property with initials or an acronym to gain recognition or notoriety or to express an opinion. The intent is to deface as many surfaces as possible.
If you see graffiti or vandalism in progress, call 911. Do NOT approach those involved in what you believe to be criminal activity. Stay on the line and provide your location and a detailed description of the suspects.
Most parents have no idea that their children are involved in vandalism or graffiti crime.
Check backpacks for markers and/or spray paint, aerosol cans and/or nozzles. Look for sketch books, pieces of paper with graffiti "tags" on them, and photographs of graffiti pieces or murals. Check school papers for graffiti "tags”, students will practice their tag. Have you noticed paint on your child’s finger tips? Could they explain where it came from?
It is important to know who your children are associating with and make sure they are home at your established curfew times.
REMEMBER: Graffiti is a crime known as "Malicious mischief." It is a misdemeanor under Washington State RCW 9A.48.090