Graffiti

In Arlington, graffiti is not a new problem, but it is something that the Arlington County Police Department wants your help with.

Graffiti on public and private property is considered destruction of property and, under Virginia Commonwealth Law, those responsible can be charged with a felony, depending upon the amount of damage incurred. If you notice graffiti on your property, or in the community, you should contact ACPD so it can be properly documented. Regardless of the content, all graffiti cases documented by ACPD are forwarded to the Gang Unit for review.

How do I report graffiti to Police?

If you see someone in the act of applying graffiti, call 9-1-1. Otherwise, you can contact ACPD’s non-emergency line at 703-558-2222. To report information about taggers anonymously, call Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Who is responsible for cleanup on public property?

In instances where graffiti is on public property, ACPD will respond to the scene, photograph the graffiti for investigative purposes and then coordinate cleanup with the appropriate County department.

Who is responsible for cleanup on private property?

In instances where graffiti is reported on private property, ACPD will respond to the scene and photograph the graffiti for investigative purposes. Clean up on private property is ultimately the responsibility of the property owner, though ACPD will bring instances of reported graffiti to the attention of the property owner. Arlington County is not responsible for the clean-up of graffiti on private property.

Should I paint over graffiti?

You should not attempt to remove or paint over graffiti on public or private property before contacting ACPD to document it. If the graffiti is on private property, ACPD recommends that you wait to begin cleanup efforts until after they respond to investigate and document it. However, you are not legally required to delay cleanup efforts.

Why should I report instances of graffiti?

By reporting graffiti, you are helping to create a safe community. Graffiti can signal disorder in a neighborhood and can invite crime. Documenting and subsequently removing graffiti can discourage continued activity so that it and similar markings do not become a permanent part of a neighborhood.