What is graffiti?
Under Oregon law, graffiti means "any inscriptions, words, figures or designs that are marked, etched, scratched, drawn, painted, pasted or otherwise affixed to the surface of the property".
How does graffiti hurt Tualatin?
Graffiti, whether "gang-related" or "generic", has a negative effect on a resident's feeling of safety in their neighborhood. It creates a perception (whether factual or not) that crime is on the rise and gangs are moving into the area.
When graffiti appears and is left up indefinitely, it sends a signal that people just don't care, which in turn attracts other forms of crime and delinquency to the neighborhood.
Graffiti drains tax dollars. Funds that could and should be used for schools, roads, parks, and other community needs, are used to clean graffiti.
What should I do about graffiti in my neighborhood?
Report graffiti to the Tualatin Police Department Non-Emergency Line at 503.629.0111.
Your report may help prevent more serious crimes!
- When graffiti is "occurring now" or if you are a witness to graffiti vandalism as it is happening, call 9-1-1. Give as much information as you can about the suspects, vehicles, license plates and the location.
- When graffiti appears on your property or someone else’s report it to your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible by calling the non-emergency dispatch number at 503.629.0111. This allows officers to document the tag and refer it to the Interagency Gang Enforcement Team for evaluation and intelligence gathering purposes.
- In any case the sooner graffiti is removed, the better! Research shows that removal within 24-48 hours is effective in discouraging repeat vandalism. If you choose to remove the graffiti before contacting law enforcement, take a photo, if possible, that can be given to the officer and attached to the report.
How do I remove graffiti?
The most common ways of removing graffiti are sanding or scraping it off, painting over it or removal with solvents. The method selected will depend on the type of surface and the substance to be removed. For more information about removal methods visit www.graffitihurts.org.
What if I am physically or financially unable to remove graffiti myself?
Report it to the non-emergency dispatch number for Tualatin Police at 503.629.0111. If you are unable to remove the graffiti within 24 hours, the officer who takes the report may be able to provide you the option of completing a Graffiti Wavier form which will allow the City's Operations Department to remove the graffiti for you at no cost. This is ideal for non-painted surfaces including concrete and fences.
For more information about programs to prevent graffiti refer to the Graffiti Hurts program operated through Washington County.
To learn about the ORS codes related to graffiti visit ORS 164.354 Criminal Mischief.