When graffiti is not taken care of, the neighborhood starts to deteriorate. Businesses find that customers stop coming, residents feel more fearful and less in charge of their own neighborhood and property. Once a neighborhood looks uncared for, crime problems tend to increase.
Graffiti has serious economic as well as psychological consequences in neighborhoods. Graffiti is a visual blight in our communities that has become a four-billion-dollar national problem.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT GRAFFITI ON YOUR BUSINESS:
In order to effectively deal with graffiti, everyone needs to be involved. Law enforcement alone cannot do the job. Dealing with graffiti must be a team effort involving law enforcement, city government, business owners, and community members.
Five ways you can personally take control of graffiti:
When graffiti appears on your business, apartment, or home, first:
* Call the Colton Police Department. 909.370.5000 ask for Officer Randolph
* A youth services officer may take a report to document the damage and may also photograph the graffiti.
* You should remove or paint over the graffiti immediately. This will help prevent more graffiti.
* Ask businesses in your neighborhood to remove graffiti from their buildings, then remember to thank those who remove it quickly.
* Cooperate with police in prosecuting those who vandalize the community.
HOW TO PREVENT MORE GRAFFITI:
It's frustrating to paint over graffiti, only to have it vandalized again. Here are ways to paint out graffiti that will discourage further vandalism. The best way is to paint the entire wall or paint up to 7 feet high, making a straight line across the top with a color that matches the wall. This leaves no trace of graffiti and does not draw attention of the vandals. This method is far more effective than simply painting patches. The next best way is to use a closely matched color blocked over the graffiti in neat, square shapes. The closer the color match, the more effective it is in preventing future vandalism.
The vandal's objective is to have others see his "tag" or "name." Vandals are drawn to walls that are not cleaned immediately because it means their graffiti will be up longer and seen by more people. By covering the graffiti as soon as possible, you prevent your property from becoming a "known" good site among vandals.
A run-down neighborhood
The Graffiti Removal Program operates seven days a week in order to keep our city looking clean. We have found that the best way to fight this crime is to cover the area vandalized as soon as possible. Please call our hotline at (909) 370-5174 if graffiti is visible or submit a graffiti report.
A NOTE TO PARENTS:
If you find spray cans, large markers, etching tools, etc., in your teen's backpack or room, it could mean they are involved in graffiti vandalism. Often those involved in graffiti first mark their own notebooks and backpacks. Make sure your children are aware of the serious consequences of vandalism. Know where your kids are and who they are with. If you have any questions or concerns about graffiti, call the Colton Police Department Youth Services Division or ask for Officer Randolph at 909-370-5000.