If your property has been vandalized by graffiti, the best thing to do is repair it quickly, because a graffiti-ed wall only invites more vandalism.

BVNA works hard with the City of Philadelphia’s Graffiti Abatement Team to combat graffiti to prevent a proliferation of property vandalism that can encourage criminal activity.

If your property has been vandalized by graffiti, there are several things that can be done:

  • Report the problem by calling the city’s Anti-Graffiti Network hotline at (215) 686-8686, calling 311, or by submitting a tip online with police.
  • If the graffiti tag is large, property owners can contact the city for a free power-wash or paint-over by calling (215) 685-9556, option 3, or by completing an on-line Anti-Graffiti Removal Form. If the owner of a vandalized property is elderly or physically challenged and unable to remove graffiti, the city asks that they forward a short letter explaining the situation to Thomas Conway, Deputy Managing Director, 1401 JFK Blvd., Room 930, Philadelphia, PA 19102-1670. Phone is (215) 686-2114 for more information.

Graffiti Deterrent Tips

Improve the lighting. Graffiti artists who are not meant to be leaving their artwork like to work where others can’t spot them. By increasing the lighting, you decrease the desirability of your space as a canvas. Spotlights that only turn on when movement is detected can be a good way to save on energy usage while still getting the much-needed lighting effect.

Add security cameras. Good quality security cameras are expensive but even cheaper ones have a deterrent effect because people see them and assume that they are being filmed. Erect them where they are obvious and be sure to secure them well.

Take away ease of access. If your area is easy to access, it is probably time to stop facilitating entry or accessibility. Think about the methods that you can use to reduce access, such as fencing off, adding barriers, hammering on trellis or signage that blocks the “canvas” aspect of your area.

Grow climbing plants. Cover a wall space with vines, or espaliered plants. Make it a green feature piece that livens up the area and is not attractive as a canvas. You can even use moss graffiti!

Join up and place the signs about your area. Be sure to do your bit as others help you out, too. Attend our local meetings to discuss happenings in the area and to come up with ideas for dealing with challenges as a group.

Talk with local authorities. They can suggest methods for deterrence and ways of removing graffiti already in place. In fact, you might have even received a notice for removal from a local authority, so it is a good idea to talk to them about where to proceed next if you’re not sure.

If you are already a victim, remove it quickly. Make a habit of removing graffiti and unwanted attempts will be rarer. Nobody wants their hard work to be erased quickly.