Graffiti Prevention Improves the Quality of Life for Communities and Residents
Graffiti is a sign of decay and makes people feel that their neighborhood is being lost to gangs and crime. If allowed to remain, it sends the message that the community is unconcerned about its appearance. In spite of its colorful qualities, graffiti is not art. Graffiti is a crime that costs communities more than $8 billion a year to clean up. Although graffiti vandals come from varied social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds, graffiti is very much a youth-related problem, with about half of all acts committed by suburban males from preteens to early twenties.
Graffiti hurts communities. It drains tax dollars and private funds and sends a message that nobody cares about the area in which it appears. This becomes an open invitation for loitering, littering, more graffiti, and crime. It hurts property values and frightens away businesses. The best way to prevent graffiti is to remove it as fast as possible, preferably within the first 24 hours.
Aggressively prosecuting graffiti vandals is important, as is educating youth and adults about the impact of graffiti vandalism on neighborhoods. And because graffiti vandals often steal the tools they use in their crimes, a program to reduce retail theft is advisable.
Graffiti Prevention Tips
To step up graffiti prevention efforts:
Keep up the neighborhood. Keep the appearance of a neighborhood clean and neat. Remove litter and trash, fix broken fences, trim landscape, and ensure all lighting is working properly.
Remove graffiti promptly. Rapid removal of graffiti is an effective prevention tool. Data shows that removal within 24 to 48 hours results in a nearly zero rate of recurrence.
Encourage citizen reporting. Educate the public about the impact of graffiti vandalism and provide a way to report graffiti.
Enforce anti-graffiti laws. Enforce existing anti-graffiti laws. Law enforcement dedicated to tracking and apprehending graffiti vandals is a strong deterrent.
Educate youth. Use Graffiti Hurts K-8 curriculum supplements to incorporate graffiti education and prevention into classroom activities.
Ten Things You Can Do To Prevent Graffiti
These tips appear courtesy of
Get educated. Learn about graffiti, how it impacts your community, and who is responsible for graffiti prevention and cleanup in your area.
Report graffiti to the appropriate authorities.
Organize a paint-out. Gather supplies and community volunteers to remove graffiti in your neighborhood.
Plan a paintbrush mural to cover a wall plagued with graffiti.
Coordinate a graffiti awareness campaign at your school or in the community.
Make a presentation on graffiti prevention to your school, class, or neighborhood group.
Adopt a wall in your school or community and make sure it stays clean and free of graffiti.
Plant trees or other greenery near a graffiti-plagued wall.
Ask your community to install lighting in areas that are dark and often hit with graffiti.
Contact a local Keep America Beautiful affiliate (www.kab.org) and volunteer to help keep your community clean.
Graffiti Hurts Offers Resources
Graffiti Hurts resources help community leaders assess the graffiti problem, initiate graffiti prevention activities, and educate youth and adults about the impact of graffiti vandalism on neighborhoods.
These tools and resources are available online at www.graffitihurts.org.
At the Graffiti Hurts website you'll find:
- Proven methods for preventing graffiti
- Graffiti facts
- Removal technologies
- Steps for organizing a graffiti cleanup
- The 1-2-3's of creating a community mural
- Tips for businesses and homeowners
- Model graffiti prevention programs in cities across America
- Graffiti education-curriculum supplements for grades K-8
Tell Me More about the Graffiti Hurts Program
Graffiti Hurts - Care for Your Community is dedicated to raising awareness about the harmful effects of graffiti vandalism and to providing communities with resources for prevention and cleanup. The program was developed in 1997 through a partnership between Keep America Beautiful, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to litter prevention and clean communities, and The Sherwin-Williams Company.
These tips appear courtesy of
Walker Lake Interpretive Association is a Non-Profit Organization Incorporated in the State of Nevada.
WLIA is a registered 501 C3 non-profit organization with the United States Internal Revenue Service.
Your donations are tax deductible.
Walker Lake Interpretive Association
Phone: (775) 945-9088
Photography and Text by Bonnie Rannald, all rights reserved
Website content © 2004-2012
Walker Lake Interpretive Association.
Website design by PhotoGraphic Expressions