Graffiti vandalism is any inscription, slogan, drawing, etc., scratched scribbled or drawn, often in spray paint, on public or private property without permission.
The graffiti in Edmonton is a blend of "hip hop graffiti", which is when a vandal or tagger paints their respective tag name in an effort to cause damage to gain fame within the graffiti sub-culture. These vandals will usually tag with a crew represented by three letters often painted with their tag name.
Gang graffiti accounts for less than three per cent of graffiti in the City of Edmonton.
Graffiti vandalism is the most visible and prominent crime in a neighbourhood, making it appear unsafe. The Broken Windows theory tells us that the appearance of disorder will attract and cause more disorder and the escalation of crime.
When you come across graffiti, remember the “3 Rs”:
If you have been victimized by graffiti vandalism you need to record it for evidence and insurance purposes. Take photos of the vandalized area and record when it occurred. This information will be required when you report it.
Graffiti In Progress - If someone views graffiti in progress they should contact 911.
Property Owners - If a property owner discovers graffiti on their property they should contact Police at 780-423-4567. Or, report the incident to a community or divisional station.
Citizen Complaints - All citizens are encouraged to call the City of Edmonton at 311 or fill out their online form to report graffiti on public and private property whenever it is spotted.
Property owners who fail to remove graffiti within a reasonable time may be fined $250 (effective April 1, 2008). Where a graffiti complaint is not voluntarily removed, a property owner may receive a fine. It's important to send graffiti offenders the message that graffiti will promptly be removed from your property.
The Capital City Clean-up program can help. Call 311 after reporting to the police.