What Graffiti Means to a Community

Graffiti defaces entire cities, and by allowing it to remain in place on personal or private property in your community, a clear message is being sent that nobody cares, thus encouraging further crime in affected areas.

Young people are the primary offenders of graffiti application and generally range from grade school age children to people in their early twenties. There are many reasons as to why placing graffiti on other objects is so popular amongst this young crowd. Anger, boredom, revenge, to show defiance toward rules, laws and authority to name a few. Gangs use graffiti to talk to each other and to send messages showing turf claimed, communicating threats to rival gangs, and listing members of that particular group.

Rest assured that if you allow graffiti to run rampant in your community, you are only inviting additional problems of criminal activity in your area.

Zero Tolerance Policy

Communities can adopt a zero tolerance policy for graffiti type vandalism. First, identify the areas most susceptible to graffiti and teach property owners effective removal methods.

Participants needed to make this an effective policy should include property owners victimized by graffiti, businesses, schools, government, recreation facilities, utilities, public works, etc... Getting rid of graffiti immediately should be the communities first step in reducing further vandalism of this type in our City.

This should not be considered an over night fix, however, community persistence in conjunction with law enforcement almost always emerge victorious. Once an area is cleaned up of graffiti, there are methods that can be utilized to help reduce future graffiti in a particular area. This can be accomplished by a philosophy known as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (changing landscaping, lighting, fencing, etc).

Take a Stand to Prevent Graffiti and Vandalism In Madras

It's time to get rid of the Graffiti in Madras. Time to Make it disappear! Paint over graffiti as soon as it occurs, repair damaged property, keep an eye on public property areas for damage and cleanliness. If you can't take part in doing some of these things yourself then at least let us know where the problem areas are so we can take steps in correcting them. Refer to our Graffiti Clean Up Program explained below. If you see anyone committing an act of vandalism, of any kind, report it immediately to the Madras Police Department or the Jefferson County Sheriffs Office.

Neighborhood Watch is an important element in reducing graffiti and other forms of vandalism in your community. This Watch Program is only as strong as you make it. You have to want to make a difference and be a part of the partnership with law enforcement to really make a difference in Madras.

Get involved by supporting youth recreational programs in your community. Volunteer your time, donate money or supplies, and help in any way you can.

There are several things that can be organized and put into action. Community members can adopt a street or park. Create a monthly park patrol to clean up litter and keep and eye on things. Plant trees, bushes and flowers. Repair equipment and install trash containers. Join a monthly "park patrol" to clean up litter and keep an eye on things. Let us know if you are interested in anything at all by sending email.  Be sure to put "Taking A Stand" in the subject line for proper routing. If you have new ideas, we'd like to hear them.

Utilize our Graffiti Clean Up program to assist in our efforts to keep Madras clean and prevent criminal activity. Don't assume "someone else" will do it. You ARE that someone!

Oregon Graffiti Laws

ORS 164.381- Definitions (Graffiti)

1. "Graffiti" means any inscriptions, words, figures or designs that are marked, etched, scratched, drawn, painted, pasted or otherwise affixed to the surface of property.

2. "Graffiti implement" means paint, ink, chalk, dye or other substance or any instrument or article designed or adapted for spraying, marking, etching, scratching or carving surfaces.

ORS 164.383 - Unlawful Application of Graffiti:

1. A person commits the offense of unlawfully applying graffiti if the person, having no right to do so, nor reasonable ground to believe that the person has right, intentionally damages property of another by applying graffiti to property.

ORS 164.386 - Unlawfully Possessing Graffiti Implement:

1. A person commits the offense of unlawfully possessing a graffiti implement if the person possess a graffiti implement with the intent of using the graffiti implement in violation of ORS 164.383.

ORS 164.345 - Criminal Mischief III:

1. A person commits the crime of criminal mischief in he third degree if, with intent to cause substantial inconvenience to the owner or to another person, and having no right to do so nor reasonable ground to believe that the person has such right, the person tampers or interfered with property of another. (Class 'C' Misdemeanor)

ORS 164.354 - Criminal Mischief II:

1. A person commits the crime of criminal mischief in the second degree if:

a) The person violates ORS 164.345, and as a result thereof, damages property in an amount exceeding $100.00; or

b) Having no right to do so nor reasonable ground to believe that the person has such right, that person intentionally damages property of another, or, the person recklessly damages property of another in an amount exceeding $100.00. (Class 'A' Misdemeanor)

NOTE: If there is intent, then any dollar amount of damage is inclusive under this law and is not restricted to exceeding $100.00. (Any class 'A' Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 1 year incarceration upon conviction.)

Areas Most Susceptible to Graffiti

Any large surface is appealing and may be susceptible to graffiti scribble. Large retaining walls, sides of business buildings, school buildings etc... Street signs and utility boxes, curbs, guard rails, under and along side bridges, in alley ways where it is darker at night, sides of houses, public picnic tables and public restrooms are just a few.