February marks the city of Phoenix’s eighth annual Graffiti-Free Phoenix Awareness Month, and you can help in the fight against blight. The annual event, hosted by the Neighborhood Services Department, focuses on encouraging the community to help wipe out graffiti and learn how to get it removed by reporting it.
Mayor Kate Gallego issued a proclamation, calling on residents to get involved in the efforts to keep Phoenix neighborhoods free of graffiti. “We need the community’s help to keep Phoenix clean and free of vandalism, so our citizens feel safe, and our city is welcoming to all,” Mayor Kate Gallego said. “Graffiti is a crime. If you see it, report it.”
Graffiti is vandalism. It can decrease property values, attract more graffiti- and other crimes- if it’s not removed right away. “When there is evidence of criminal activity, like graffiti, it gives the impression that such activity is tolerated or accepted,” Neighborhood Services Director, Spencer Self, explained. “Removing graffiti quickly leaves a positive, lasting impression on our neighborhoods and gives our residents a safe place to call home.”
The city’s Graffiti Busters work seven days a week to keep Phoenix graffiti-free, often responding to reports from citizens. The Graffiti Busters cover or remove up to 200 sites of graffiti every day, at no cost to residents or businesses. In 2021, crews used nearly 12,000 gallons of paint and cleaned up nearly 52,000 sites of graffiti around Phoenix.
“The Graffiti Busters are passionate about what they do and take pride in restoring a positive image to our community,” said Betsy Cable, the program manager. “They’re out there every day erasing crime, and it’s because of them that clean-up is quick and effective. But the program also depends on our residents who are the eyes and ears on the ground. We are most effective when the community works with us by reporting graffiti.”
There are 3 ways to tell the city about graffiti and have the Graffiti Busters respond:
App: myPHX311 (use the TELL THE CITY ABOUT tab)
Email: [email protected]
If you see graffiti in progress call 911.
Residents can also wipe out graffiti themselves. The city of Phoenix will color match & provide paint, supplies, and training to community volunteers who want to organize a cleanup in their neighborhood.
For more information or to fill out a permission slip to get graffiti removed from your property: Phoenix.gov/graffiti.