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Graffiti Removal

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When you come across graffiti, whether on public or private property, it is important you remember the "3 R's":

Record = Photograph

If you have been victimized by graffiti vandalism, you need to record it for evidence and insurance purposes. Take photos of the vandalized area and record when it occurred. This information will be required when you report it.

Report = File a Police Report

Graffiti In Progress - If someone views graffiti in progress they should contact 911.

Property Owners - If a property owner discovers graffiti on their property they should contact Police at (919) 469-4012.

Citizen Complaints - All citizens are encouraged to call the Town of Cary at (919) 469-4012 to report graffiti on public and private property whenever it is spotted.

Remove = After filing a police report

The Town of Cary Police and Public Works departments have developed a systematic approach to ensuring the effective and timely removal of graffiti once it has been brought to our attention. If the graffiti is located on public property, the Police Department will coordinate with the Public Works Department for removal of the graffiti. Arrangements to remove graffiti located on private property must be made by the property owner. The Town of Cary Police Department can assist property owners with recommendations for best methods of removal. If graffiti is not removed in a timely manner, the Town may remove the graffiti at the expense of the property owner.

The Town of Cary is committed to taking an active and comprehensive approach to preventing and suppressing gang activity in our community. One of the first indicators that gang activity is present in any community is the surfacing of graffiti. Graffiti is not only a form of gang communication, it is also the most visible form of gang criminal activity. Graffiti identifies the gang, its members and its territory, and it issues warnings and challenges to rival gangs. Most importantly it glorifies the gang and makes their existence well known.

However, not all graffiti is representative of a gang presence. In fact, most of the graffiti in the Town of Cary thus far has been the work of “taggers," not gangs.

Taggers usually operate independently or in small groups of two or three, called crews. The goal of the tagger and their crew is to get "up" as much as possible. Therefore, tagging crews go on "bombing" raids, doing extensive damage to the community in one night. The goal of the tagger is exposure, and this does not limit them to operating in any one area of the community. The tagger considers him/herself an artist and is primarily concerned with achieving maximum visibility of their “art.”

It is not necessary for citizens to be able to decipher the origin or meaning of graffiti, but it is important that they recognize it as criminal conduct which is potentially gang-related and take steps to notify the police whenever it is observed.

The Town’s goals are to eliminate the presence, activities and violence of street gangs in Cary and to ensure that gang members who commit crimes are promptly identified and arrested. In addition to graffiti removal, the Town of Cary Police Department is participating in community activities aimed at prevention and by providing information to parents and community members on signs of gang activity.

If you have information on gang activity or suspected gang activity or would like information on gang prevention or intervention, please contact Sgt. Terry Leonard at (919) 380-2133 or by email at terry.leonard@townofcary.org.