Boise Police Department
News Release

William L. Bones
Chief of Police

Contact: BPD Media Relations Office


Thursday, April 28, 2011

1st Quarter stats show continued Decrease in Crime. The exception: Graffiti

1st Quarter stats show continued Decrease in Crime. The exception: Graffiti

    Boise, April 28, 2011 - Boise Chief of Police Michael Masterson presented the 1st quarter Boise City Statistical Crime Summary to Mayor David Bieter and the City Council this week. Overall the statistics show a continued decrease in crime, a trend Boise City has seen for the past six years.

       "This city can be proud of the efforts made that continue to keep Boise one of the safest cities in the country," said Chief Masterson. "The drop in crime is thanks to a lot of hard work from our officers and prosecutors, but also largely due to the prevailing attitude in this community that we value the safety and security of our neighborhoods." 

  • Major crimes dropped more than 5% compared to the same period one year ago, including aggravated assault, rape and theft reports.
  • Non-violent Group B crimes dropped 7% including bad checks, disorderly conduct, public drunkeness and liquor law violations. 
  • Group A Part 2 crimes show an increase, however the large (261%) increase in graffiti is responsible as no other crime category (except a small increase in drug paraphernalia) showed any increase .

     "Graffiti is on the increase and it's a crime we get a lot of complaints about. People see graffiti, not only as an eyesore but as a negative impact on their property values. Graffiti also tends to increase people's perception of crime, even though in reality, crime is down."

    "Graffiti is essentially someone going onto someone else's property and vandalizing it," said Chief Masterson. "It's not welcome and we have to keep working together to stop it."

    About Graffiti:

    Graffiti reports are up 261% the 1st quarter of 2011, from 104 reports last year to 376 reports Jan - March 2011. The vast majority of graffiti in Boise City is known as '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 on signs, billboards, buildings, or through the media.

    Suspects: Males age 18 - 25 years old are primary offenders. Officers say typically a small number of offenders, perhaps two dozen people are responsible for the vast majority of graffiti crimes throughout the city. One or two arrests for graffiti can decrease incidence dramatically.

    Prevention: Quick reporting and removal of graffiti is proven to slow the number of incidence. Conversely, allowing graffiti to remain on a building, fence, signs, etc. often invites other taggers to vandalize nearby properties.

    Investigations: A new reporting system, established in October of 2008 has proven to be effective in helping officers track and prosecute suspects. Citizens are urged to call non-emergency dispatch, 377-6790 to report graffiti immediately, with the goal of getting the graffiti documented by police and removed within 72 hours.


    Residential burglaries are also up slightly, 131 reports compared to 109 reports last year. Officers say burglary is often a crime of opportunity for thieves, entering through unlocked doors or windows. Officers give these tips to prevent becoming a victim of a car or home burglary:

  • Keep all windows and doors locked. If windows are open, have a lock or bar in the window so it cannot be slid open far enough to allow someone to climb inside. 
  • Alert neighbors when you're going to be away and let them know if someone will be visiting the house, or if no one is expected to be at the home while you're gone.
  • Establish a Neighborhood Watch so neighbors are aware of routines and can be alert to anything unusual or suspicious in the neighborhood. For more on Neighborhood Watch, contact Charlene Miller at
  • If you see anything that looks suspicious in your neighborhood day or night, a car driving slowly through or parked with unknown people sitting inside, or someone walking who appears to be peering into windows, call police immediately.

    For the complete Boise City Statistical Crime Summary 1st Quarter 2011 report, go to: