Residents against graffiti
Remember the three R's
UPD, Salt Lake County and the Salt Lake Area Gang Project provide additional resources for cleaning and combating graffiti. Remember the 3 R's: report, delete, regroup.
Report graffiti to UPD via email (email@example.com) or call 385.468.9769.
The UPD can provide you with free graffiti removal supplies and can even assign an officer for protection during the removal. UPD also employs graffiti removal specialists to remove graffiti on public or private property with owner permission.
Most graffiti offenders tire quickly if graffiti is removed quickly (ideally within 24 hours). By organizing a neighborhood group you can react quickly to remove or report new graffiti and prevent further incidents. Read our tips to combat graffiti and organize a successful neighborhood group. You can also read the Salt Lake County Graffiti OrdinanceClick here for search details.
Organize your neighborhood
Organizing a neighborhood group is one of the most effective ways to combat graffiti. The perpetrators quickly tire when they see their efforts taken away and go elsewhere.
Here are some tips for organizing a neighborhood group:
- Hold a neighborhood watch meeting and invite a UPD officer to attend
- Divide the neighborhood into small areas and designate area coordinators responsible for inspecting their areas for graffiti and mobilizing cleaning crews within 24 hours.
- Equip as many residents as possible with cleaning products, protective clothing and safety equipment.
- Take safety precautions by cleaning graffiti in small groups, preferably with at least one adult.
- Be diligent. It may take 3 or 4 times for the vandal to give up and go elsewhere.
RESIDENTS AGAINST GRAFFITI
The Unified Police Department is working with Salt Lake County to hire graffiti cleanup specialists and a program coordinator. The program provides free cleaning supplies to residents. The graffiti cleaners also help residents remove graffiti from their premises free of charge. The specialists cleaned 7,930 sites in 2018. They are proactive in cleaning up graffiti and will remove graffiti on public property if they see it. The goal of the program is to remove graffiti within 24 hours of notification. The specialists bring different paint colors and moving supplies in their vehicle.
The graffiti removal specialists are available throughout Salt Lake County upon request and work with various city public works or law enforcement agencies with graffiti removal. Residents who are unable or afraid to remove graffiti on their property can contact RESIDENTS AGAINST GRAFFITI at any time for assistance in reporting the graffiti via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone 385.468.9769 for help with removal.
Rapid removal of graffiti is essential to prevent further vandalism. You will be asked to sign a waiver allowing our specialists to enter your property and remove graffiti. The specialists will help you free of charge. They can also provide moving materials if you want to move yourself.
- Do not remove graffiti that is not on your property without the owner's permission.
- Cover or remove new graffiti as soon as possible.
- Graffiti will usually increase in the warmer months.
- Be persistent! Continue to cover or remove stubborn graffiti.
- Use common sense and be safe!
- Be aware of hazards on the road or other hazards in the area.
- Evaluate the project for the best possible solution. Do not paint an unpainted surface if a solvent is a better solution.
- Graffiti removal supplies are available from UPD Residents Against Graffiti or any home improvement store. Home improvement stores can also help match a paint color.
Call the UPD Graffiti number to inquire about graffiti removal supplies and how to obtain them, or assist with your removal at 385.468.9769.
GRAFFITI: The writing on the wall
It is called "The newspaper of the street". What do these cryptic, seemingly incomprehensible scribbles mean? Graffiti can be divided into two types: graffiti done by taggers and graffiti done by street gangs. While taggers and street gangs both use graffiti as an illegal form of communication, their intent is different. Taggers see graffiti as an art form, a game or a friendly competition. Street gangs use graffiti to mark areas they visit and to threaten their enemies.
Taggers are generally less violent than traditional street gangs. Tagger graffiti differs from street gang graffiti in that it is generally more intricate and "artistic" than street gang graffiti would be. The graffiti can be intertwined and turned upside down or sideways, making it look more like a maze than letters.
The graffiti is usually done in a variety of colors and may include animal or human caricatures. Taggers would call this type of graffiti a "piece", probably short for "masterpiece". This kind of piece is usually designed in advance and may have been sketched out in a notebook beforehand.
Underground magazines and newsletters publish tagger pieces. There is a worldwide network to keep taggers in contact with each other. Many taggers believe what they are doing is street art and not a crime.
Another activity taggers engage in is "tagging", where they place their nickname or "tag" in as many places as possible. Taggers participate in competitions with other groups, trying to outdo each other in terms of the number of "tags placed", the difficulty of the artwork, or the difficulty of tagging.
Taggers gain visible recognition through their graffiti. The more visible a wall is, the more desirable it is to taggers. Highway bridge signs, water towers and billboards can quickly build a tagger's reputation. They call it "marking the sky."
Taggers sometimes use adhesive labels (such as the name tags often handed out at training seminars). The tagger will write his name on 10 to 20 tags and as he walks through an area he simply peels off the backing and sticks the tag to any surface he passes. Some typical brand names include "No," "Dime," "Bug," "Smok," "Toke," and "Rek."
Parents who believe their child may be involved in tagging should look for aerosol cans, a collection of spray cans, broadheads, glass etching tools, surgical gloves, name tags, and photos or homemade videos of graffiti. Sketches of graffiti, practice sheets with a nickname, or school notebooks with graffiti-like scribbles can indicate tagging activity. Paint or marker paint on the hands or oversized hooded jackets with large cargo pockets often indicate involvement in tagging.
STREET GANG GRAFFITI
Members of street gangs use graffiti to increase their visibility, recruit new members, threaten rivals and intimidate local residents. Gang graffiti can show alliances between gangs, mark the scene of a crime, or commemorate the death of a loved one "homie" (using slogans such as "In memory of..." or "RIP...").
It usually contains the gang name and possibly a list of names for various members of the gang, or perhaps a threat directed against a rival group (using slogans such as "187..." or "CK" or "BK"). Monikers typical of street gangs include "Smiley," "Flaco," "Scrappy," "Payaso," "Goofy," "Phund," or "T-Locc." Telephone area code prefixes are sometimes included, and while Utah's "801" and "385" code are used, California codes seem to be very popular, and "213", "310", and "714" are often seen.
Street gang graffiti can be done with Old English style letters, balloon letters (or block letters), or simple one-line letters. Many of the Spanish speaking gangs will contain Spanish phrases such as "Loco" (crazy) or "Rifa" ("We control") or "Rifamos" ("We are the best"). Crossing out individual letters or names of rival gangs is common. Individual letters are crossed out if that letter belongs to a rival gang. For example, a blood set can cross out all C's in any graffiti.
Street gang graffiti may contain derogatory references to rival gangs. Blood sets may refer to Crip sets as "Crabs" and Crip sets may use "Slobs" in their graffiti as an insult to Blood sets. Gang graffiti with "187" indicates a threat to kill. "187" is the California homicide statute and, used in street graffiti, tells rival gangs that those who painted the graffiti intend to kill them.
The numbers "13" and "14" are often used in street graffiti, especially among Latin American gangs. "13" can be represented as "XIII", "X3", "13" or with the word "trece". There are several explanations for the use of the number "13". The thirteenth letter of the alphabet is "M", and one explanation says that "M" refers to the Mexican mafia; another says it stands for Mexico, the homeland; and another says it refers to a street in Mexico that begins with the letter "M" - the street where the first gang started. A "14" can be written as "XIII", "X4" or simply "14". The 14th letter of the alphabet is "N" and usually refers to Nuestra Familia as the parent organization of Norteno gangs.
Other gang names commonly found in gang graffiti include "D St" for Diamond Street, "TCG" for Tongan Crip Gangsters, "sXe" for Straight Edge, "G-13" for Gardenia 13, "QVO", "VLT" for Varrio Loco Town "Sur 13" or "Sur 38" for Surenos 13 or Surenos 38, and "21" for 21st Street. "WS" for Westside or "NS" for Northside are also common.
What can I do?
Get involved and get your neighborhood involved
ALWAYS paint over graffiti right away or call an agency that will paint it for you for free. Research in California shows that areas that are immediately painted over are much less likely to be "hit" again. Graffiti that remains becomes a status symbol. Many communities have "adopt-a-wall" programs, or programs that recruit volunteers to help clean up or paint over graffiti. Graffiti hotlines are available in many areas for reporting graffiti.
NEVER confront or challenge anyone who is actively tagging or graffitiing. Members of street gangs are very often armed and can attack a challenger even if they are not. Remember, even taggers can be weaponized. If possible, provide an accurate description of the people, graffiti, vehicle and license plate. Videos of graffiti activities are also helpful. All information should be forwarded to your local law enforcement agency for investigation. Be a good witness and pass the information on to the local police as soon as possible.
How to report graffiti
Within the jurisdiction of UPD
You can report graffiti via email, phone or call your local police.
E-mail: email@example.com of firstname.lastname@example.org
801.743.7000 of 801.840.4000
SLCPD / Sandy PD shipping
Outside the jurisdiction of the UPD
Utah Department of Transportation (for highway graffiti)
Salt Lake City
Graffiti-hotline in Salt Lake County
Tips for removal
The timely removal of graffiti is essential to prevent further incidents. The UPD can help by providing graffiti removal equipment and can even designate an officer to be present during the removal if danger is imminent. Here are some tips for effective graffiti removal:
- Before cleaning, you must always get permission from the owner of the accommodation.
- Clean up new graffiti within 24 hours of discovery.
- Be prepared to step up your efforts in the warmer months.
- Be persistent! Continue to remove or cover up recurring graffiti until the vandals get tired and give up.
- If your personal safety is an issue, ask for a uniformed police officer in a marked vehicle to join your cleaning party.
- Use common sense. Minimize the risk of damage by attempting to remove graffiti where it is easily accessible and be aware of road hazards.
- Before cleaning, the project must be evaluated. Make sure the paint matches the wall. Do not paint a surface that has never been painted or can be cleaned with a detergent.
Products for removing graffiti
- ERASE Aerosol Spray - Available from UPD or from Zep Manufacturing 801.975.9831.
- Exterior latex paint - available at hardware stores and paint stores. Try to match the original color.
- Brake and Carburetor Cleaner - available at most auto stores.
- Power wash - with pressurized water and a mild detergent.
- Sandblasting - Use as a last resort. Can damage the surface.
Collection locations for graffiti supplies
Graffiti removal supplies are available at UPD Precincts - during regular business hours, Monday through Friday.
4570 South 2300 East (north side of building)
4250 West 5400 South
8539 West 2700 South
South Main Street 7912
1580 East 3900 South
2600 West Taylorsville Blvd. (5320 Syd) 385.468.9435
Graffiti removal usually costs around $1 to $3 per square foot, depending on the area, graffiti painting, and surface material.How do I report gang graffiti in Los Angeles? ›
To report graffiti in the City of Los Angeles, dial 311, email email@example.com or download their MyLA311 app. To report graffiti in one of Los Angeles County's 88 cities, click here for their Graffiti Hotline. To report graffiti near the railroads, contact Metrolink at (800) 371-5465 (call or text).Why do cities remove graffiti? ›
Therefore, most governments have seen graffiti as detrimental, and have outlawed the practice. However, due to most instances of graffiti occurring in public spaces, local governments are responsible for graffiti removal in order to maintain the beautification of their local shire, council or city.What is the Salt Lake area gang task force? ›
The mission of the Salt Lake Area Gang Project, also known as Metro Gang Unit, is to identify, reduce, and prevent criminal gang activity through public education and proactive enforcement in Salt Lake County and the surrounding areas.How do professionals remove graffiti? ›
Sometimes wiping the graffiti with light penetrating oil such as WD-40 or Three-in-One will remove it. If graffiti remains, try to remove it by rubbing with steel or bronze wool or light sandpaper. If graffiti still remains, try power-washing it with a pressure washer.Does graffiti lower property value? ›
The National Association of Realtors reports that properties with graffiti are estimated to lose 15% of their value and nearly 25% when the graffiti is profane or hateful in nature.What is the most violent street gang in Los Angeles? ›
Location. The 38th Street gang occupies a huge area on the east side of South Los Angeles and some areas in East Los Angeles. These neighborhoods had been historically known to be some of the most dangerous in the nation.Why do gang members do graffiti? ›
Gang graffiti is used to promote a specific gang, mark its territory, or threaten violence. It is also a means of non-verbal communication between gangs to communicate messages and show disrespect to their rivals.Can you go to jail for graffiti in California? ›
However, the misdemeanor penalties under Penal Code 640.5 PC and 640.6 PC, California's graffiti laws, are less than those under Penal Code 594 PC. They include: up to six (6) months in county jail, a fine of up to two thousand dollars ($2,000), and/or.What city has the most graffiti? ›
San Francisco, California. Besides its must-see tourist attractions, San Francisco presents a plethora of murals and graffiti art, some of them addressing strong social messages.
Your local council is usually responsible for removing graffiti from things like public buildings, monuments, benches and bins.Can graffiti be stopped? ›
Use landscaping to deter graffiti vandals. Plant thorny or vine plants in front of ideal surfaces such as walls or fences. Graffiti vandals will avoid thorny plants so they don't get hurt or rip their clothes. Vine plants make the surfaces difficult to paint.What does the 27 gang do? ›
Known as the men of blood, and the most violent of the Numbers, the 27s are the most secretive members of the secretive sub-culture of the prison gangs. The 27s monitor and enforce the laws and codes of the Numbers, and may negotiate and mediate between the 26s and the 28s.Are there Crips in Utah? ›
The Tongan Crip Gang, or West Side 102st Tonga Crip Gang, is a street gang that is a subset of the Crips gang. The gang is active in the U.S. states of California, Utah and others, as well as a presence in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.What gang is SSB? ›
The SSB Bloods originated from a street gang known as “the Bloods” that was formed in Los Angeles, California in the early 1970s.Does rubbing alcohol remove graffiti? ›
Try removing the graffiti with ordinary household cleaners, like detergent or dishwater soap. If those don't work, try rubbing alcohol or WD-40, turpentine or mineral spirits.
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MAGIC PAD® Heavy Duty Eraser is used for removing tough to clean stains, scuff marks, graffiti, marker, adhesives, dirt and more.What are the benefits of removing graffiti? ›
Sometimes graffiti comes in the form of vandalism. Wrong doers spray rude messages on shop walls or public places. Clearing it will give the miscreants a strong message that whatever they do will never bring anyone down. Professional removal services can easily get rid of the paint used in graffiti art.How much money is lost on graffiti? ›
The unlawful defacing of personal property is a crime and it costs an estimated $12 billion each year to clean up graffiti in the United States. Business owners may also incur a fine if the graffiti is not cleaned up in a timely manner. In addition, stores lose business when customers choose to shop somewhere else.
Permanent Damage Caused by Graffiti
Spray paint contains harsh and toxic chemicals that can lead to the erosion of building surfaces, such as concrete, brick, and siding.
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Avenues gang members tattoos are known by a skull with a fedora and a bullet hole in the skull, or the letters LA, AVES, A's and Avenidas. The Avenues are one of LA's most violent gangs.What is the toughest gang in Los Angeles? ›
18TH STREET GANG
It is also known by the name "Barrio 18" and transformed to its current form in the 1980s. It is the most violent gang in modern-day Los Angeles. It is responsible for nearly three times the number of robberies and assaults as compared to other gangs.
The gang has allegiance to the CA prison gang, Mexican Mafia, aka “La Eme”. Sureños identify with “13”, “XIII”, “X3”, the letter “M” - 13th letter in the alphabet - as homage to the Mexican Mafia. They typically use the color blue but may use other colors as well such as black or brown, dependant on the set.What does K mean in graffiti? ›
Not as frequently used now as it was in the early days. Crew - A loosely organized group of writers who also tag the crew initials along with their name. Crew names are usually three letters, many times ending with K, which stands for kings or kills in most cases.How do gangsters treat their girlfriends? ›
Gangsters often keep their girlfriends in the dark about their criminal activities to protect them from reprisals and detection. But in some cases girls found themselves at risk of violence, including rape, by their own gang or rivals and believe they cannot turn to the authorities for help.Why graffiti is not a crime? ›
Having graffiti on private property is seen usually as crime because where they do graffiti doesn't belong to them, however when graffiti is done in tunnels it is seen as art because the general public enjoy the view of it.What is the police code 594? ›
According to California Penal Code 594, anyone who willfully defaces or damages a person's property can be found guilty of committing Vandalism. In order to prosecute for Vandalism penal code violations, state prosecutors have the burden to prove you are guilty of: Damaging, defacing or destroying someone's property.Is egging a house illegal in California? ›
Certain things seem like harmless fun, especially when you are a certain age — egging someone's house, spray painting a building, or knocking over a mailbox. But destroying or damaging someone else's property is actually a crime, and can result in criminal charges.
In April 2015, eight people spent six days creating the largest piece of illegal graffiti in the world: "This land was our land", painted on a disused military runway in the Mojave Desert (35.280664°N 117.397822°W).What is the graffiti capital of the United States? ›
This city has embraced the paint, resulting in a staggering amount of colourful and thought-provoking murals, and leading it to be touted as the street-art capital of the country. The epicentre of this art scene is in RiNo (River North Art District) where Denver Graffiti Tour leads two-hour rambles through the streets.Why do people graffiti? ›
Personal expression. Graffiti is a way of communicating and a way of expressing what one feels in the moment. It is both art and a functional thing that can warn people of something or inform people of something. However, graffiti is to some people a form of art, but to some a form of vandalism.Do they investigate graffiti? ›
As with most forms of vandalism, graffiti is not routinely reported to police. Many people think that graffiti is not a police or “real crime” problem, or that the police can do little about it. Because graffiti is not routinely reported to police or other agencies, its true scope is unknown.Should I remove graffiti? ›
Your Paint is Part of Your Building's Structure
The longer the graffiti is left on your building, the deeper it gets into the subsurface, and the more damage will be done to the material underneath it. In short, remove graffiti as soon as possible to prevent damaging your building.
Most vandals use spray paint which contains numerous substances harmful to skin, eyes, and the environment. If you attempt to remove graffiti vandalism from your business, you may risk your own health in doing so. Removal can cause toxic substances to splash on to skin, into eyes, and release noxious fumes.How long will graffiti last? ›
Short answer: It depends on the medium used and the location. Spray paint fades over time, especially in the full sun, but it does last for years, decades even. However, the same graffiti writer will paint over their own pieces to keep the paint fresh.How do I stop taggers? ›
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 coverings on windows.Do graffiti artists go to jail? ›
Most graffiti crimes are charged as misdemeanors. City graffiti ordinances typically penalize people convicted of vandalism or graffiti spraying with a fine, though other sentences such as community service, probation and even jail sentences are possible as well.What gang is 666? ›
18th Street will use the symbols XV3, XVIII, X8, 666, 99, and 3-dots in their graffiti and tattoos. 18th Street colors are blue and black; blue is to represent and to pay tribute to The Mexican Mafia, and black is to represent the original color for the gang.
His name apparently honors his street gang
He told Rap Radar that “21” is in honor of the 2100 Street Gang in Atlanta that he was affiliated with.
Daily gang life is generally not very exciting. Gang members sleep late, sit around the neighborhood, drink and do drugs and possibly go to a meeting place in the evening, such as a pool hall or roller rink. They may work a street corner selling drugs or commit petty crimes like vandalism or theft.What state has the most Crips? ›
The states with the highest estimated number of Crip sets are California, Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Members typically consist of young African American men, but can be white, Hispanic, Asian, and Pacific Islander.What is the Crips main city? ›
Crips, street gang based in Los Angeles that is involved in various illegal activities, notably drug dealing, theft, extortion, and murder. The group, which is largely African American, is traditionally associated with the color blue.Where are the 8 Trey Crips from? ›
The Eight Tray Gangster Crips are a subset of the infamous, national Crips gang, and traces its origins to the 1970s in California, according to the Department of Justice.What gang is in Corona? ›
Corona Varrio Locos gang members are affiliated with the Sureños, a Southern California regional street gang that shows allegiance to the Mexican Mafia.What does 59 brim mean? ›
According to the indictment and other court filings, the 5-9 Brims is a set of the Bloods street gang that operates in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and elsewhere. Gang members have committed acts of violence, including murder, robbery and assault, and engaged in drug-trafficking and fraud.What gang is Hoover? ›
According to court documents, the Hoovers are a criminal street gang operating in Oregon known to engage in acts of violence including murder, robbery, and drug dealing. The Hoovers originated in Los Angeles in the late 1960s and established a presence in Portland in the early 1980s.Is an estimated $12 billion a year is spent cleaning up graffiti in the United States? ›
There are huge public costs associated with graffiti: an estimated $12 billion a year is spent cleaning up graffiti in the United States. Graffiti contributes to lost revenue associated with reduced ridership on transit systems, reduced retail sales and declines in property value.How much does NYC spend on graffiti removal? ›
The troubling trend saw New York City Transit's annual graffiti cleaning costs surge to $610,956 in 2018 — an increase of 364% from the $131,539 spent just two years earlier.
There are countless government buildings, schools, and private businesses affected by graffiti each year, and as indicated above, the vast majority of the money you bring in becomes a pure profit for you. Thus, enough clients and enough hustle can make this a very lucrative job!What is the graffiti capital of us? ›
This city has embraced the paint, resulting in a staggering amount of colourful and thought-provoking murals, and leading it to be touted as the street-art capital of the country. The epicentre of this art scene is in RiNo (River North Art District) where Denver Graffiti Tour leads two-hour rambles through the streets.Who started graffiti in America? ›
The first modern graffiti writer is widely considered to be Cornbread, a high school student from Philadelphia, who in 1967 started tagging city walls to get the attention of a girl. But it was only in the 1980s that galleries began to showcase graffiti as artwork.Will a jet wash remove graffiti? ›
It is this energy that often removes bits of graffiti that can stain some substrates leaving a shadow. In reality, you will find that you will get 100% of graffiti removed about 95% of the time (without too much trouble) using a small cold water pressure washer such as our EcoBlaster.Why is there no graffiti on NYC subway? ›
In 1984 New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) began a five-year program to eradicate graffiti. The years between 1985 and 1989 became known as the "diehard" era. A last shot for the graffiti artists of this time was in the form of subway cars destined for the scrap yard.Is graffiti a felony in NY? ›
Making graffiti is a Class A misdemeanor. Your punishment will be that you will have to spend up to a year in the county jail. However, there is also a good chance that the judge will not sentence you to jail, but will instead sentence you to a 3 year probation term.Who is the graffiti artist for the subway? ›
Lee Quiñones' artistic career began in the 1970s as a teenage graffiti artist tagging and painting entire New York City subway cars in a powerful new art movement. Today he is world-renowned and among the artists whose work will be offered at auction at Poly's upcoming Art for Arts Celebration on March 11.Can you make a living off of graffiti? ›
Artists who want to become a graffiti artist should be aware that they may or may not be able to make an acceptable living wage. Generally, only the most talented graffiti artists will make enough money to actually live on, while others will often need to find other employment to supplement their art career.What is a graffiti tagger called? ›
Tagging refers explicitly to writing the artist's signature (or their pseudonym name or logo) on a public surface. This distinct signature is known as a “tag”, and the artist is referred to colloquially as a “tagger”.How much psi needed to clean graffiti? ›
To remove graffiti most effectively a 3000 psi pressure washer that can heat the water to approximately 190 degrees at a 5 gpm flow is most desired. If you have access to a cold water pressure washer (1500 - 3000 psi) you may want to extend the dwell time of the chemical on the surface to a minimum of 20 minutes.