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An officer writes in his notebook next to graffiti

Graffiti is the illegal defacing of property by painting or otherwise marking it with words, pictures or symbols. The majority of graffiti involves "tags," which are personalized signatures or "throw ups," which are multi-coloured, bubble lettering painted on mailboxes, hydro poles, bridges or walls.

Graffiti has a negative effect on our community in many ways. It contributes to reduced property values, a decline in commercial sales, increased crime rates in affected areas, wasted tax dollars for clean-up and decreased use and enjoyment of public facilities. It diminishes citizens' feelings of safety and security.

Help reduce the chances your business will become a target for graffiti by following these tips:

  • Keep the exterior of your business clean and neat
  • Install exterior lighting on motion sensors
  • Install video surveillance cameras
  • Remove graffiti immediately
  • Fences, shrubs and thorny plants can deter vandals
  • Move dumpsters away from walls
  • Dark-coloured and textured surfaces are less likely to provide a good graffiti canvas
  • Consider coating exterior walls with graffiti-resistant materials that can be washed off
  • Call police and ask for regular patrols of your business if you are concerned
  • Report suspicious people and vehicles to police

If you are the victim of a vandal, report the incident to police immediately. Take photographs of the damage and remove it as soon as possible.