Graffiti means different things to different people. For some, it is an appealing form of street art and it provides opportunities for artistic expression. For others, it's an ugly array of spray paint.
There is a big difference between graffiti as an art form and graffiti vandalism, primarily "tagging". Street art is planned, has permission from the property owner and takes the form of intricate and beautiful murals.
However, 94% of all graffiti in Edmonton is "tagging"; vandals spray painting their names on someone else's property without the owner’s consent.
Let's work together to bring more art and less vandalism.
What You Can Do To Prevent Tagging
Remove It Fast
By removing graffiti tagging quickly, the less likely it is that taggers will return. Paint over the graffiti or apply for the Professional Graffiti Cleaning Program as soon as graffiti tagging appears.
Using the Edmonton 311 App, report graffiti tagging on public property so it can be removed.
Protect Your Property
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design strategies can make your property more secure and prevent acts of vandalism.
Keep it Clean
Broken fences, graffiti vandalism, parking lot litter, overgrown landscapes and poor lighting invite delinquent behaviour. Keeping your property clean and maintained has a positive effect on the community and helps deter graffiti vandalism.
- Graffiti can be art, when planned, has permissions and is in the form of intricate and beautiful murals
- On the flipside, 94% of graffiti in Edmonton is ‘tagging’; vandals spray-painting their names on someone else’s property without the owner’s consent
Graffiti is vandalism and a criminal offence when placed on public or private property without the owner's consent. Even if done with permission, it must conform to the City’s Community Standards for acceptable forms of art. Otherwise the property owner may be required to remove the graffiti under Community Standards Bylaw 14600.
Community Standards works closely with Edmonton Police Services to support investigations for graffiti taggers.
- Graffiti vandals gain their reputations based on ‘street cred’.
- This means the longer graffiti is visible, the more street ‘cred’ the vandal gets, encouraging more graffiti in more locations. The materials used for graffiti are almost always stolen, which adds another layer of criminality to graffiti vandalism.
- Property owners must spend time and money to clean up the vandalism.
- Discriminatory or hateful messages hurt individuals and identifiable groups.
- Vandalism makes our city less attractive to visitors, business and investment.
- Property damage and petty crime affect our sense of security and pride in our city.
Less than 3% of graffiti is related to gangs.