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Remove graffiti, and you could end up removing negative perceptions of your district or even vandalism itself.

In the minds of your residents, tourists and stakeholders, fun and welcoming areas of your district can quickly become “shady” and “run-down,” almost overnight. How? All it takes is a few scribbles of graffiti to create those negative perceptions that are much more difficult to erase than the graffiti itself.

Build your graffiti-fighting techniques

Chances are, you’ve felt the sting of graffiti before. Avoid getting “tagged” with negative perceptions and keep the sound reputation of your downtown intact by adding these graffiti-fighting best practices to your repertoire.

1. Act fast

Locate and remove graffiti as quickly as possible. Quick removal is important for a few reasons:

  • Allowing graffiti to linger in your district often rapidly breeds more.
  • If taggers regularly see their work removed immediately, they will likely move to another area.

Make it your goal to have all graffiti tags removed within 24 hours — before public perception even has a chance to be affected.

2. Get strategic with landscaping

Plant shrubs or thorny plants around the base of open walls, signs and other surfaces that could become graffiti targets. It makes access more difficult while still beautifying the area.

3. Start a graffiti hotline

Starting a graffiti hotline can expand your eyes and ears substantially. It allows you to enlist the help of business owners, residents and workers in your district to spot new graffiti. This can help you identify new tags immediately, which will also help you reach your 24-hour removal time.

There are plenty of ways to make this fun for your community, such as recruiting an anti-graffiti street team or awarding prizes for consistent graffiti spotting.

Learn more

Download our free Graffiti Tip Sheet for a better understanding of why, when, and where graffiti occurs as well as 5 more strategies to prevent and reduce graffiti in your city.