Riverside Police Department

Investigations Division

Graffitti FAQs

What should you do when you observe graffiti in public?

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If it is in City of Riverside limits, call the GRAFFITI toll-free number 1 (866) 824-3733 and report the information to the dispatch center, request photos if extensive damage, the report will then be forwarded to the follow-up detective, and then to city public streets for eradication if it is in public view. If it is not in public view, the property owner needs to eradicate it as soon as possible after making the police report. If the caller is using a cell phone, they will have to call (951) 354-2007 to make the report. If the graffiti is in progress, they need to call 911.

What happens to a tagger when they are caught tagging?

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They are arrested and must appear in court. When they are found guilty they can receive as much as 3 years custody time for a felony (over $400 worth of damages) and up to a year custody time for a misdemeanor (under $400 worth of damages). They can also be placed on probation with terms allowing search of their person, property, residences at any time by law enforcement. They can also be responsible for court restitution costs as well as the costs of eradication of the graffiti vandalism they committed. In the case of juveniles, the parents or guardians can be responsible for the above mentioned costs. Taggers can also have their driving privileges suspended or eligibility to obtain a driver license can be delayed as a result of tagging convictions. Juveniles can also be committed to a Sheriff's Work Program including a 6 months to a year tour in a boot camp program.

Why do individuals get involved with tagging and what is the difference between gang and tagger graffiti?

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Taggers are using graffiti for fame and notoriety. Their objective is to get their crew (group) name and or their individual moniker up on buildings, signs, walls, etc. so that they can receive recognition from other taggers and tagging crews. The more locations that they tag their graffiti on or the more difficult the location to remove their tags, the more fame and recognition they receive. These taggers will go to other cities, counties, and even other states to achieve this objective.

Gang graffiti on the other hand is strictly territorial and is used to let members of other gangs know to stay out of a particular area or be subject to retaliation.

Chief of Police Sergio G. Diaz

Quick Links
Investigations Information
Magnolia Station:
10540 Magnolia Ave. #B
Riverside, CA 92505
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For Non-Emergencies
Call 951-354-2007
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