What is Graffiti?

Graffiti, also referred to as "tagging", is the unauthorized writing or drawing on a public or private surface. Graffiti may consist of inscriptions, slogans, and/or drawings that are created by scratches, scribbles, etching, stickers or paint.

Graffiti is a community eyesore and everyone’s problem. Graffiti is costly, destructive, lowers property values and sends a message that people of the community are not concerned about the appearance of their neighborhood. It is against the law, and in cases where the cost of clean-up equates to $400 or more, is punishable as a felony.

Zero Tolerance

The City of Riverside takes a zero tolerance approach to graffiti by:

  • Educating the public to prevent graffiti
  • Promoting community involvement
  • Rewarding the public for calls that lead to arrest
  • Responding to graffiti rapidly for removal
  • Documenting and tracking graffiti offenders
  • Arresting and prosecuting all graffiti offenders

Riverside Municipal Code Chapter 9.18

Need help removing graffiti from your private property?

Contact 3-1-1 to report graffiti vandalism and fill out this form to give us permission to remove graffiti from your property. The release form is good for one year. The City will assist you with removal, certain limitations apply. For more information, check out our Graffiti Removal Program Fact Sheet.

When graffiti is reported to the 311 Call Center, a Service Request Order (SRO) is generated for crews to respond and remove the graffiti vandalism within 1-3 business days.

Cost of Graffiti

The City of Riverside spends more than $1.3 million dollars annually on Graffiti abatement. Additional money is spent by other public agencies, utility companies and private property owners to remove graffiti from their properties.

Nationally, the graffiti problem costs Americans nearly $12 billion dollars each year.