Graffiti: What You Can Do
What can you do about Graffiti? A lot. Your participation by reporting and accurately documenting “tags” help police and district attorneys build strong cases that result in prosecution. Here are ways you can help:
- The most effective way you can report and abate graffiti is to download our Apple or Android Washoe County Sheriff's Office app on your phone or tablet. You can go to the Google Playstore or the Apple Store, type in Washoe County Sheriff and download the FREE app. If you see graffiti in your neighborhood, just click on the Graffiti Abatement button on the app. You can then take a photo of the graffiti which will be sent (along with the GPS coordinates) to the Sheriff's Office. Although not required, we ask if you could please type in your name and phone number with the photo in the event we have questions.
Here are a few more tips:
- Prevent it. Add motion lights or inexpensive video surveillance. Taggers generally don’t tag where they can be seen.
- Parent Awareness. There are key signs to look for if children are tagging. Juvenile taggers often “tag” in their rooms, backpacks, shoes, even their purses/wallets. The poster to the left also identifies other signs to look for. Also important – the school district prohibits spray paint on campus and would never include it in an art supply list.
- Report it. Report tagging in progress at or if discovered after the fact, you can file a report online.
- Take Photos: Take photos of the graffiti before you clean up. If you don’t then we can’t get restitution or charge for the crime.
- Don’t advertise: Don’t post graffiti on social or websites or any place that would advertise the graffiti. Taggers are looking for recognition. They scale walls, shimmy up poles and dangle upside down from freeway overpasses, all in the name of fame.
Remove it. Remove the graffiti as quickly as possible to avert tagger notoriety and to prevent the paint from absorbing into the surface.
- There are chemical products such as graffiti wipes found at most home supply centers that can remove the graffiti. Follow instructions carefully based on your surface.
- Pressure wash unpainted concrete surfaces.
- Paint. Color match to original color if possible