Graffiti Response Program

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Many communities have serious problems with graffiti vandalism. Graffiti causes fear among residents, destroys property, lowers property values, diminishes a community's quality of life, and can lead to other criminal activity.

Fortunately, graffiti vandalism in the City of Fairfax is infrequent. This is largely due to community involvement, rapid police intervention, and low crime rates.

Our Department has adopted a three-tiered approach to the graffiti problem:

Prevention
Prevention efforts include:
  • Public education programs designed to heighten awareness and sensitivity to graffiti.
  • A "zero tolerance" for graffiti vandalism.
  • Working with the City-University Crime Solvers program to offer cash rewards for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of graffiti vandals.
  • Soliciting innovative ideas for graffiti abatement from the community.
  • Encouraging special landscaping near potential target areas to deter graffiti vandals.
  • Encouraging the design and construction of graffiti resistant structures.
  • Encouraging public/private partnerships to respond to graffiti vandalism.

Enforcement
The Police Department is committed to the elimination of graffiti vandalism. We document and investigate all cases and fully prosecute those involved in criminal vandalism whenever they can be identified.

Removal
Keep in mind that vandals want their work to be seen. Research has proven that if graffiti is removed immediately after it is applied, the victim location is less likely to be the target of continued vandalism. Consequently, the Police Department strives to have any graffiti removed within 48 hours of it being discovered and reported.

If the graffiti is on public property, the City will have it removed as soon as possible, normally by the next regular business day.

In cases where the graffiti is on private property, we will contact the property owner and request their assistance in removing or covering the graffiti as soon as possible. In extreme cases, the City Code has provisions for the City to remove the graffiti and recover the associated cost from the property owners. This process is normally reserved for cases where property owners decline to cooperate with removal requests.

Reporting Graffiti Vandalism
We encourage you to report all graffiti vandalism to the Police Department by calling 703.385.7924
An officer will respond to investigate the crime, photograph the scene and collect any evidence for later use in court. The reporting process only takes a few minutes of your time. You will also be helping your neighbors or other businesses by reporting the graffiti incident. Officers assigned to your patrol area will be advised about the graffiti incident and can be alert for other offenses.

Please report graffiti vandalism before you remove or cover it.

If you have questions or want additional information, please contact the Community Services Sergeant by calling 703.273.2889 or email.