Graffiti is an issue of permission. Unauthorized graffiti is an act of vandalism that constitutes the criminal offence of mischief.
What is Graffiti?
Graffiti is any writings or drawings on a surface placed there without authorization of the owner of the object on which it was written. Graffiti is an act of vandalism and it places a significant burden on the City of Hamilton. It increases the fear of crime in the area and requires a large amount of money to eradicate.
Types of Graffiti
- Hip hop
- Hate Crime Graffiti
- Folk Epigraphy: For example, ‘Billy was here’ or ‘Katie loves Jack’
- Political activism
- Stencil Graffiti
- Latrinalia Graffiti: graffiti on bathroom stalls
Graffiti Prevention Tips
- Apply graffiti resistant coatings to protect your walls. This can be very expensive however it will replace the cost of having to continually clean up graffiti with costly chemicals and equipment.
- Install video surveillance to monitor isolated areas.
- Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED)
- Increase lighting and visibility in vulnerable areas.
- Restrict access to walls by planting “creepers” such as ivy or thorny bushes.
- Use chain link fences, as opposed to other fences which create a solid surface for graffiti.
If your property or business is marked by graffiti, remove it as soon as possible. The quick removal of graffiti is the most effective means to prevent further acts of vandalism.
If you witness an act of graffiti in progress, call 9-1-1. Anyone wishing to provide anonymous information about an active graffiti vandal or graffiti crime should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Report existing graffiti by calling 905-546-2489 or online at www.hamilton.ca/graffitiform. Please be as specific as possible in the location and description of the graffiti. Incidents of graffiti will be prioritized and ones that are considered harmful to the community will be immediately removed.
Property owners are responsible for removing graffiti from their own property as per City By-law.
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