Graffiti is any writing, etching, drawing or symbol applied to any public or private property without the owner’s consent. It is a form of vandalism and a crime that detracts from Victoria’s image for residents and visitors.
Removing graffiti quickly and consistently is a way of showing pride in the community. Graffiti, if left unchecked:
- reduces property values
- promotes an undesirable image of the city
- undermines residents’ and visitors’ sense of security
- destroys property
- diverts tax dollars from other City services
- can lead to more acts of graffiti and create an environment in which crime can thrive
Everyone has a role in keeping Victoria vibrant and clean. If you see graffiti in progress, call 9-1-1.
Your Role in Graffiti Prevention
The City has a comprehensive removal program in place to promote safer and cleaner communities, and requires effort from residents, property owners and business owners.
As a resident, business owner or property owner, there are a few steps that can be taken to help prevent graffiti:
- Record: take a picture of the graffiti tag and note the date, time and location. The City will include this information in a database to track vandals. If you see a tag in progress and can take a picture without putting yourself at risk, a photo of the accused can significantly increase the chances of prosecution.
- Report: call the police non-emergency line at 250.995.7694 and report the tag. You may be provided with a mischief statement that can help with cost recovery in the event of a successful prosecution.
- Remove: please remove the graffiti as soon as possible after completing the first two steps. Removing graffiti before it accumulates will discourage repeat offences.
You might also consider the following:
- installing motion detector lighting and/or cameras
- restricting access to your building walls with vegetation
- using graffiti-resistant coating on targeted walls to make cleanup easier
- enlisting an artist to paint a mural on your walls to beautify the building and community
The City of Victoria partners with the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) and Our Place Society to remove unwanted graffiti in the downtown core and surrounding neighbourhoods. On average, the DVBA removes over 100 incidents of graffiti from City streets and buildings each week — totalling over 5,500 a year.
DVBA members can contact the DVBA Clean Team leader at email@example.com for help removing graffiti and for discounts on paint and remediation products.