Education & Prevention


Graffiti is:

  • Any unauthorized inscription, word, letter, figure, symbol or design. Examples include:
    • Graffiti that is inconsistent with the design and use of the subject property.
    • When there is no specific written authorization by the owner on file with the department for the graffiti.
    • When the person causing the graffiti was unknown to the owner.
  • Visible from a public place, public right-of-way or another person's property.
  • Marked, etched, scratched, drawn, painted or made in any manner.
  • On any surface of tangible property regardless of its content or nature and regardless of the nature of the material of the structural component or property.

Graffiti may be done with an aerosol paint container, felt tip marker, paint stick, etching tool, or adhesive materials. It also includes stickers or items capable of scarring or otherwise defacing glass, metal, concrete or wood.

Stop Graffiti

Taking proactive measures to help prevent graffiti vandalism is an important tool in the effort to eradicate graffiti. Homeowners, businesses, landlords, and developers can take preventive measures to reduce and or eliminate graffiti vandalism from their property. Generally, these measures include the following:

  • Using smart design elements to eliminate potential for crime, including graffiti vandalism. 
  • Installing lighting in areas that are dark.
  • Removing graffiti rapidly (as soon as possible but no longer than three days).
  • Installing murals.
  • Establishing a crime prevention group.
  • Teaching the youth in your life about the negative effects of graffiti and channel their energy into approved art forms.

Deal With Graffiti Vandalism

If you have been a victim of graffiti vandalism, follow the three R's:


File a report as soon as possible by contacting the non-emergency police number, 210-207-SAPD (210-207-7273).


Take a picture of the graffiti (for homeowner's insurance and/or police report).


Remove the graffiti from your property within 72 hours to prevent graffiti from spreading and reoccurring.