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 report to police using the Online Reporting System 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 the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency. Reports of graffiti found on public or private property can be reported as vandalism using the Online Reporting System. 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 notify the appropriate County department for cleanup.

Who is responsible for cleanup on private property?

In instances where graffiti is reported on private property, cleanup is the responsibility of the property owner. ACPD will bring instances of reported graffiti to the attention of the property owner. Arlington County is not responsible for the cleanup of graffiti on private property.

Should I paint over graffiti?

Before removing or painting over graffiti, ACPD recommends photographing the graffiti and documenting the incident using the Online Reporting System. The photographs of the graffiti should be included in the online police report.

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.