Brightly colored lettering covering large exterior wall is often an indicator that you’re in an urban environment. Graffiti artists and muralists can enhance the aesthetic, create visual interest, and show the personality of a city. But too often, taggers will claim a space for themselves without respect for the existing property or art.

The presence of graffiti can negatively impact a community, from declining property values to attracting more crime to decreasing citizens’ feelings of safety. As a citizen, you can take action to prevent and fight graffiti.

Within the City of Spokane It is a gross misdemeanor to intentionally deface public or private property, by etching, painting, spray painting, covering, gouging, drawing upon, or otherwise placing a mark upon public or private property without owner authorization. In addition, it is the property owner’s responsibility to remove or cover the graffiti within 10 days of notice, in order to mitigate further proliferation of graffiti.

Vandals look for easy targets that allow them to graffiti a wall without being seen. Take these steps to help deter them from targeting your business.

  • Create a barrier using vegetation or a fence to ward off potential graffiti vandals.
  • Use materials and surfaces that make graffiti vandalism difficult: apply a clear coat finish to protect painted and unpainted surfaces and use protective film covering on windows.
  • Keep your property well-lit and install flashing motion sensor lighting.
  • Install surveillance cameras to monitor activity on your property.

If your property gets tagged

  • Remove graffiti as soon as possible. When graffiti is removed within two days, the chances of it reoccurring drastically drop.
  • Within the downtown area, property owners can call the Downtown Spokane Partnership at 509.456.0580 and we will send a Clean Team member to assess the site.
  • There are three options for removing Graffiti: Chemical removal, pressure washing or painting over the tag.
  • Graffiti removal is more difficult in the winter months when cold weather decreases the effectiveness of mitigation techniques.
  • When using paint, make sure the paint you’re using matches the rest of the paint. A large different colored patch is a target for more graffiti. For areas that are frequently tagged, property owners can provide the Clean Team with the paint color of your choosing and the team will keep it on hand for future clean-up.

For additional graffiti removal, call the City of Spokane customer service line at 3-1-1. Report all crime and nuisances to Crime Check at 509.456.2233.Take a digital a digital photograph of the graffiti to provide to the SPD. Photos from prolific taggers can be used to combine the cases for a more serious charge.

Spring Clean Week is presented by Republic Services

Republic Services, Inc. was incorporated in 1996 with a “can do” spirit, driving its dramatic growth and acquisitions through the years, welcoming other organizations that share its values and fiduciary discipline. Today, Republic Services, Inc. is the second largest provider of services in the domestic non-hazardous solid waste industry. Republic Services provides non-hazardous solid waste and recycling services for commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers.