99% of graffiti removed within 24 hours for three years in a row

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graffiti removed within 24 hoursEach month, the City of Long Beach Graffiti Abatement Program removes an average of 20,000 tags from 3,500 sites.

“I will do everything in my power to keep graffiti from taking root in our beautiful city,” City Manager Pat West said. “The City of Long Beach has an excellent graffiti removal program, and I encourage everyone in the community, including all City Employees, to report graffiti whenever they see it throughout our city.”

Still, the most effective method for addressing graffiti is for residents and businesses to immediately eliminate it from their property as soon as it appears.

Graffiti reduces property values, diminishes the quality of life, and lowers neighborhood pride. Neighborhoods where graffiti is allowed to remain tend to attract more crimes.

That’s why it is imperative for graffiti to be removed as soon as possible. Graffiti vandals interpret “tags” that stay up as permission to continue to deface property. The quicker tags are consistently removed, the sooner graffiti vandals stop.

In late 2006, the City of Long Beach hired a contractor with five specially equipped trucks to respond to the graffiti hotline. This contractor also patrols and proactively eliminates graffiti from City property and from private property accessible from a public right-of-way, such as the wall of a residence or business adjacent to a street or alley.

The contractor, Graffiti Protective Coatings (GPC), can water-blast, air-blast or paint out graffiti found on stucco, concrete, block walls and wood. GPC can color-match paint or other surfaces to a high degree of accuracy, and will also remove stickers. GPC crews are also available for emergency service 24/7, and a 6th GPC truck is now dedicated to removing graffiti from the City’s parks and marinas.

Funding for the Graffiti Abatement Program is provided by the Redevelopment Agency, and the Departments of Community Development, Public Works and Parks, Recreation and Marine.

Information about graffiti on other sites, including County property, freeways and train trestles, is directed to the responsible party for removal.

Additionally, as graffiti clustering and tagging trends are analyzed, the Police Department monitors “hot spots” to apprehend suspects in the act of defacing property. Additionally, private property owners will be notified and requested to actively address repeat graffiti on their property and consider certain deterrent measures, such as outdoor lighting or enhanced security.

Important Graffiti Information

Graffiti reduces property values, diminishes the quality of life, decreases neighborhood pride and lowers business patronage. Neighborhoods that allow graffiti to remain tend to attract more crimes. Here are some tips for addressing and preventing graffiti.

  • Remove graffiti as quickly as possible. Graffiti that remains visible encourages and emboldens taggers.
  • Make sure buildings and property have ample lighting. Consider motion-sensor lights as appropriate.
  • Use anti-graffiti coatings on walls, windows and other surfaces.
  • Use shrubs, thorny plants, vines, etc. to block views, limit access and cover areas that might get tagged.
  • Control access to property via fencing, fixed entrance/exit points, barriers, etc.
  • Limit access to roofs by moving vehicles, storage bins, etc. away from buildings. Install high fences when low fences act as ladders to roofs.
    Maintain building and facility appearances. Littered parking lots, graffiti, broken fences and windows, overgrown landscaping, etc., encourages more graffiti and other crimes.
  • Take advantage of the City of Long Beach Free Paint Voucher Program, which provides a gallon of free paint for removing graffiti from the exterior of buildings. Call 562.570.2773

Important Graffiti Phone Numbers

  • City of Long Beach Graffiti Abatement Hotline, 562.570.2773 or Pw-graffiti@longbeach.gov
  • Graffiti on City of Long Beach Parks and Marina facilities at 562.570.4895
  • City of Long Beach Free Paint Voucher Program, 562.570.2773
  • Long Beach Water Department facilities and fire hydrants, 562.570.2390
  • Los Angeles County Graffiti Hotline, 800.675.4357 (including flood control structures)
  • Freeway on/off ramps or signs, CalTrans, 323.259.2352

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