Graffiti Prevention

Report Suspicious Behavior


If you see someone about to write graffiti or commit any other crime, call 911 immediately. You may report tips about graffiti vandals by submitting an issue on See Click Fix. If you need assistance with graffiti removal, please request a Graffiti Removal Authorization Form from the Neighborhood Prosecutor or print a Graffiti Removal Authorization Form here and forward it to richb@portlandmaine.gov

Protect Your Own Property


Although there is no foolproof way to deter graffiti, there are some measures you can take to make your home or business less attractive to graffiti vandals. Below are some ideas.
  • Landscaping - Vandals like to paint graffiti on large flat surfaces, like sides of buildings or garages. Consider planting ivy or other clinging vegetation along these structures. The plants make your property look greener while reducing the likelihood that there will be graffiti problems.
  • Murals - Graffiti vandals also like having clean canvases for their work. That’s why painting murals on garage doors or walls can greatly deter graffiti in frequently targeted areas. Please contact the Neighborhood Prosecutor (207-756-8350 or richb@portlandmaine.gov) if you are interested in having a mural installed on your property. 
  • Fences - Fences can also have a nice, flat, graffiti-friendly surface. Avoid this by getting one with board gaps or lattices. That way, you can enclose your yard without inviting graffiti.

What Makes a Wall Attractive to Graffiti Vandals


Attractive
Not So Attractive
Smooth
Rough
Light-colored
Dark-colored
Regular paint
Anti-graffiti paint
Patched and dirty
Clean and freshly painted

Other Solutions
  • Install fences and plant thorny or thick bushes in front of large walls. 
  • Make it harder for vandals to get access to roofs of businesses by covering downspouts and moving commercial trash bins away from walls. 
  • When painting your property, consider darker colors that are less attractive to graffiti vandals.
  • Increase lighting or use motion-activated lights around your property. 
  • Consider applying a protective coating which provides a barrier between your property’s surface and the graffiti. Several different brands and prices are available. Conduct an Internet search under "Graffiti Removal & Protection."

Organize


There are many advantages when block clubs, neighborhood organizations and other groups band together to protect their environment:
  • Form a neighborhood graffiti removal crew and help those who are not able to do so themselves
  • Get neighborhood businesses to sponsor clean-up and prevention efforts
  • Create a watch force for areas frequently vandalized
  • Involve community youth in removing graffiti
  • Help identify and apprehend graffiti writers involved in graffiti
  • Participate in the city’s public property adoption