Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Officers, Volunteers Clean Up Graffiti

10-14-10 Officers, Volunteers Clean Up Graffiti

    Boise, Oct. 14, 2010 - More than 25 Boise Police officers and volunteers spent this morning with paint can in hand covering up more than 150 instances of graffiti reported in Boise's downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

    "When people see this stuff they immediately see and eyesore, a blight on the neighborhood. Not only does graffiti damage property values, it gives people a sense that crime is occurring and they feel less safe," said Boise Police Neighborhood Contact Officer Lance Nickerson. Officer Nickerson helped organize today's graffiti clean up. The clean up is done by BPD officers and volunteers every fall in an effort to get ahead of graffiti before the colder winter weather sets in.

    "We know that removing graffiti quickly greatly reduces the chances of it spreading," said Officer Nickerson. "We want to be a good example to property owners to report graffiti quickly and get it covered up quickly. In other words, to do all we can as a community to stop graffiti from spreading."

    Reporting Graffiti:Two years ago, Boise Police implemented a new graffiti reporting procedure designed to streamline investigations and get graffiti reported and removed in 72 hours. 

    Citizens are urged to report graffiti to a single source - non-emergency police dispatch - at 377-6790. 

    Boise Police dispatchers will send a Community Service Specialist, non-sworn employees specially trained in field report taking, evidence collection, to take the graffiti report, including photographs. Citizens should report graffiti during daylight hours, since the goal is to respond quickly and gather photographic evidence, which is generally only visible during the day. The CSS will immediately contact or attempt to contact the property owner. Property owners will be given a brochure with information on how to remove graffiti and the importance of prompt removal. 

    Graffiti police reports will be inputted daily into a crime analysis data system for immediate access by criminal investigators. This reporting and routing system has allowed Boise Police investigators to use a searchable crime database to more easily find cases of graffiti that may be connected, thus possibly helping to identify and apprehend suspects. 

    The vast majority of the graffiti in Boise is called "tagging". Tagging is a signature or symbol used by a tagger or a group of taggers. Tagging is not gang graffiti. Taggers motivation is public exposure via signs, billboards, buildings or through the media.

    Graffiti Stats: During the first half of 2010, graffiti reports were lower than the same time last year and in 2008. However, graffiti reports are up slightly over the first half of 2007 and 2006.