Graffiti Prevention and Removal

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What is graffiti?

Graffiti is writing, drawing or symbols applied to any surface without the permission of the property owner. Graffiti is not art, it is vandalism.

Shoreline Police work hard to document, photograph and investigate all crimes of graffiti.  You need to do your part by ensuring you report it as soon as possible.

Reporting graffiti

You can help reduce graffiti in our community by following the “3 R Method”: 

Report, Record and Remove graffiti vandalism.

1. Report it

  • Graffiti in progress? Call 911 immediately.
  • Graffiti on your property? Call police to file a report.
  • Graffiti on City property? Make a report via SeeClickFix or call (206) 801-2700 to report the location; the City removes graffiti within 48 hours.

2. Record it 

  • Record the date, time and location of the graffiti.
  • If the graffiti is on your property, take a photograph. This documentation may help provide police with information that will lead to the identification of the vandal.

3. Remove it 

  • Prompt and persistent removal is the most effective way to prevent graffiti. Studies show that removal within 24 to 48 hours results in a nearly zero rate of recurrence.

Protecting property

These days it seems that almost any surface can fall prey to graffiti. Here are some tips to deter graffiti:

  • If you have a fence or retaining wall near the street, planting shrubs or adding relief or a pattern can eliminate the perception of a “blank canvas.”
  • Apply a clear coat finish to protect the surface or use film coverings on windows can help protect property.

Removing graffiti

  • Prompt graffiti removal is the key to prevention.
  • Paint out graffiti on painted surfaces. Use a pressure washer on natural wood or unpainted surfaces. Make sure to follow all directions carefully as pressure washers can cause damage if used improperly.