Graffiti resources

How do I report graffiti in Clackamas County?

  • Call our non-emergency line at 503-655-8211 to report graffiti on your property
  • Call 911 to report crimes in-progress
  • Report graffiti online using our Tip Line (select "Gangs/Graffiti")
  • mail graffiti location (with photo) to
  • Text graffiti location (with photo) to 971-337-7769

What is graffiti?

Graffiti is the words, colors, and shapes drawn or scratched on buildings, overpasses, train cars, desks, and other surfaces. It's done without permission and it's against the law. The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program considers graffiti vandalism.

The term graffiti comes from the Greek word graphein , which means "to write." Graffiti today ranges from simple, one-color monikers -- called "tags" -- to complex compositions of several colors repeated on many surfaces.

Graffiti can be categorized into four basic types:

  1. Tagger
    The most common type of graffiti in the metro region. Tagger graffiti may be simple line-letters, or elaborate, colorful designs. The tag is the writer's logo, his/her stylized personal signature, or "moniker." It is often done with marker, spray paint or other type implement. Tagger graffiti is about personal "fame."
  2. Gang
    Meant to create a sense of intimidation and fear within a neighborhood. Gang members use graffiti to mark their territory or turf, declare their allegiance to the gang, advertise a gang's status or power, and to challenge rivals.
  3. Communicative
    Often political or protest related.  It is a message such as "Peace", "Stop the War", etc.
  4. Hate
    The making of any offensive slogans, or symbols towards a person's race, color, religion, ethnicity, culture, or sexual orientation.

Graffiti Prevention Tips

  • Remove by promptly and persistently removing graffiti to discouraging repeat vandalism.
  • Control access with hostile vegetation, barriers and lighting.  Move dumpsters and cover drainpipes to prevent climbing.
  • Organize a Neighborhood Watch.
  • Photograph the graffiti.
  • Note location address.
  • Notify the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office via one of the options listed at the top of this page.
  • Color-match paint and surfaces. Patchwork walls encourage new graffiti.
  • Paint with MetroPaint recycled paint, which costs up to 50% less than retail paints.
  • Remove stickers with a dull blade or putty-knife.
  • Power-wash on porous surfaces.