The more social disorder and graffiti in a neighborhood, the louder the message is sent that "nobody cares." This sets off a vicious cycle that encourages further crime in affected neighborhoods.
Most vandals are young people, from grade school age to young adults, who damage property for reasons of boredom, anger or revenge. Others vandalize to show defiance toward rules, laws and authority or to draw attention to a "cause." Graffiti is often the first sign that gangs are taking over a neighborhood. Gangs use graffiti as their street "telegraph," sending messages about turf and advertising their exploits. Graffiti identifies territorial boundaries, lists members, and communicates threats to rival gangs.
Each year millions of dollars are spent to clean up graffiti. Communities can adopt a zero tolerance policy for vandalism. The first step is to identify locations or objects prone to graffiti and to teach property owners effective removal methods. Participants should include:
- Property owners victimized by graffiti
- Public transportation
- Public works
- Recreation facilities
- Shopping malls among others
Quick Removal & Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
A community's first step in taking back its streets is getting rid of graffiti immediately. This power struggle cannot be won overnight, but persistent communities working in partnership with law enforcement almost always emerge as victors. Once the graffiti is gone, use landscape designs (such as prickly shrubs or closely planted hedges), building materials (such as hard-to-mark surfaces), lighting, or fences to discourage vandalism. This philosophy, known as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, can help diminish the possibility of graffiti by changing landscaping, lighting, fencing, etc.
How Can I Help or Report Graffiti?
Take photographs of the graffiti and email them to us. You can also print and drop the photographs off at the Woodland Police Department at:
1000 Lincoln Avenue
Woodland, CA 95695
Make sure to note the date, time and location (address) of the graffiti in your email or photographs. The more information you can provide the better.
Graffiti vandalism is a criminal offense. If you see the application of graffiti in progress, please call 911. If you see graffiti already applied or have any information that might help identify offenders, please send an email or call 530-661-7870.