Graffiti is not a victimless crime. It hurts property values, scares away shoppers, and creates a climate of lawlessness that often leads to more serious crime. The mere presence of graffiti can instill fear, making people feel trapped, powerless, and intimidated in their own homes. When graffiti exists in a neighborhood, prospective business and homeowners look elsewhere to live and work.
It is important to move quickly to report, document and clean up graffiti vandalism. Speedy clean up makes a repeat offense less likely. Most vandals tire of wasting their paint and time when no one can see their tag (artwork) for more than a day of two.
When “taggers” know that neighborhoods are watching more closely, they don’t return for fear of being caught and going to jail.
What you can do to help
- If you see Graffiti in progress call 911!!
- If you remove it yourself, take pictures first
- Report graffiti immediately to OKC Action Center 297-2535
Graffiti Removal from a Public Utility or Phone Switch Box: If the graffiti is painted on a public utility pole, utility equipment box or telephone company relay box, call the customer service department of the utility company that is responsible for that equipment. They will send someone out to remove the graffiti.
It is important to note that the city will remove graffiti at no charge to the property owner, but the city is required by state law to wait 20 days after the initial notice of code violation to allow the property owner to remove the graffiti themselves. After a property has been served with one notice of code violation for graffiti, no further notice will be issued. The city crew will remove any future incidence of graffiti from the same property as it is reported.
If a citizen witnesses graffiti in progress, they should call 911 and report it. Getting caught is a successful deterrent to vandals.