Graffiti Prevention and Removal

Last updated Jul. 20, 2015 - 2:30 pm
Rapid removal of graffiti is the best way to prevent future vandalism.

Art and signs are great in their place. But there's no room for vandalism in Raleigh.

That philosophy forms the foundation of the city's policy on graffiti. Graffiti, the defacing of property with unauthorized images, symbols, or signs, constitutes more than trespass. Graffiti that is not immediately removed sends a signal that nobody cares about the area, which can attract other forms of crime to the neighborhood. Neighborhoods with graffiti see a decline in property values and many other negative effects, and people there feel less safe.

Removal Coordination

Recognizing these facts, the city has developed specific policies and procedures to combat graffiti. The Inspections Division serves as the clearinghouse for coordinating removal. On public property, clean ups are handled by the Transportation Department's Transportation Field Services Division.

On private property, Inspections solicits owner cooperation with removal, providing the names of local specialists. Transportation Field Services is also available to assist, in the same for-hire capacity as with its "special load" debris removal service. Owners are expected to arrange removal as soon as possible. If not, they can be cited for allowing a public nuisance.

Spot Graffiti?

If you spot graffiti, call it in at 919-996-6001 or email graffiti@raleighnc.gov.

Before any graffiti removal begins take a photograph for local law enforcement as evidence. The photo may provide information that will lead to identification of the vandal.

Timing and Prevention

Rapid removal of graffiti, within the first 24 hours if possible, is the best way to prevent future graffiti. Removal tells the vandals that people care about the community and that their graffiti has little chance to be seen.

Here's more tips:

  • Plant trees and shrubs or climbing vines to restrict access to tempting walls.
  • Use good lighting to deter vandals from popular graffiti sites.
  • Encourage community groups to adopt a wall or area to keep clean, well maintained, and graffiti free.
  • Use dark paint to base out tempting walls or fences.

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