A Guide to Graffiti

  • By Spokane C.O.P.S.
  • 20 Jul, 2016

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.

Graffiti Prevention Tips

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 home or business.

  • Plant fast growing vines, shrubs, or thorny bushes to limit accessibility to walls and fences
  • Install sensor lighting / or cameras
  • Use dark paint colors when painting walls or fences
  • Whenever possible, use tinted anti-graffiti coating
  • Maintain the appearance of your home. Houses with litter, broken fences, and overgrown landscaping send a message to vandals that the homeowner is not attentive.
  • Keep a watch on the neighborhood. When citizens are alert on the activities in their neighborhood, it’s harder for vandals to strike. Start a Block Watch that unites neighbors to prevent crime. You can also request a Neighborhood Observation Patrol . Our volunteers are trained by the Spokane Police Department and patrol Spokane streets keeping an eye out for crime. Having their presence in your neighborhood could help deter a would-be vandal.
  • If you live in multi-housing, encourage your landlord to complete our Crime Free Multi-Housing program . The training focuses on crime prevention through environmental design, and that includes graffiti prevention.

Reporting Graffiti

If your home or business gets hit with graffiti, you can report it to the city through the online tool , calling Code Enforcement at 509.625.6083, or filling out a paper form .

How to Paint Over Graffiti

  • Remove graffiti as soon as possible. When graffiti is removed within two days, the chances of it reoccurring drastically drop.
  • Never throw paint or paint-contaminated water down a storm drain or onto the ground.
  • Always clean brushes and equipment in a sink or drain in your home where it can go through a sewage treatment plant.
  • For small amounts of paint left in cans, leave uncovered (or mix in clean cat litter) in a safe place away from children and pets until paint dries and hardens. Dispose of dried paint cans (lids off) in the trash.
  • Always use latex paint since it’s safer for the environment. If you are using oil based paint dispose of it by taking it to the hazardous waste station of the landfill. Call Spokane’s Regional Solid Waste hotline at 625-6800 if you have any questions regarding paint disposal.
  • 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 more crime prevention and safety tips, follow us on Facebook , Twitter , Linkedin , and Pinterest !
Want to make Spokane a safer place? Volunteer at your local C.O.P.S. shop with one of our crime prevention programs , from lifting fingerprints off of vehicles to catch car prowlers to organizing a block watch for your neighborhood.

Spokane C.O.P.S.

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