A word to readers about graffiti reports

We get frequent requests from readers to check out, report on or clean up graffiti around the Northeast.

A lot of these tips come in anonymously or through bogus email accounts, so we wanted to take a minute to address everyone on why you won’t often see graffiti reports on here.  

Our communications with neighborhood town watch groups and the four police districts usually result in the same conclusion: giving attention to the people who vandalize property will only encourage more destruction.  We have, on occasion, profiled people around the Northeast who clean up graffiti, and published photos of some very busy taggers who’ve targeted multiple neighborhoods to the point where media exposure was unlikely to encourage more vandalism.

But our stance remains the same on the matter: while vandalism is a quality of life issue that needs to be dealt with, featuring photos and damage reports about specific locations or taggers could prove more damaging.  That doesn’t mean you still can’t contact us about graffiti in your neighborhood, whether just to keep us informed or to ask about removal.

Speaking of removal, here are some tips:

Call 911 for a crime in action

Reach out to your community relations officer about repeated occurrences (contact info here) and be ready to give information like date, time and location of the graffiti

311 handles issues the city is responsible for, and could be helpful if you want to work with the city to clean up a city-owned property or to learn more about how your neighborhood can get involved with city programs

Looking for your town watch or civic organization? Those that have websites are listed to the right of this page in the middle sidebar.

To get in touch with us, send an email or call the tip line. If you’re emailing, please check your spam folder if you don’t get a response. If you’re calling, remember to leave a number if you want us to get back to you.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal