“Graffiti is vandalism, it scars the community, hurts property values and diminishes our quality of life.”
Graffiti removal costs taxpayers millions per year, and in our city of Chicago, IL, an estimated $5.5 million was budgeted last year in 2011.
Chicago has a free service called Graffiti Blasters that “employs 17 “blast” trucks that use baking soda under high water pressure to erase painted graffiti from brick, stone and other mineral surfaces. They also use 14 paint trucks to cover graffiti on the remaining surfaces. Graffiti Blasters has now removed more than 2 million instances of graffiti vandalism since the programs inception by Mayor Richard Daley in 1993.” To view all the graffiti removed in your neighborhood, click here.
Ways to Help Combat Graffiti
Motion sensor security cameras can help detect and capture graffiti taggers while it is happening. Camera footage can be viewed remotely, and authorities can be notified without putting any of the community in danger.
2. Motion Sensor LED Lighting
In conjunction with the security cameras, install motion detection, energy saving LED lights for a blast of bright light, illuminating the tagger and quite possibly spooking them off. Keeping an area well lit will help to deter crime.
3. Report incidents of graffiti
Never confront taggers. If you witness graffiti tagging, alert authorities. Call 3-1-1 or submit your request online here.
4. Organize people in your community to clean up the mess together in a safe way.
Paint a mural over the graffiti, or completely paint over the entire wall. Talk to your neighbors about graffiti prevention, and adopt a wall or block in your community to make sure it stays free of graffiti.
5. Be consistent and have a zero tolerance policy in your community.
Graffiti signs or “tagging” shows other young people of tolerant, possible gang, behavior that exists there, and where tagging is used for boundaries of gangs.
Have a strict policy of same day graffiti removal by painting over it. Eventually they will stop doing it. The Atlanta Police Department has a database of known taggers and when busted, charges those taggers and holds them accountable of every property and every time they vandalized it with graffiti. It’s important to get large and small stuff- behind fences, on dumpsters, etc.
For more information about Chicago’s Graffiti Blasters or how you can help your community, visit The City of Chicago website.