Graffiti Removal

Graffiti Hotline (209) 937-8040

The City of Stockton needs your help in the fight against graffiti.  Please report graffiti and vandals.  Do not assume that someone else has already reported the graffiti.  Call the Graffiti Hotline to report graffiti. A clean-up crew will be sent to the location at no cost.



If you see a tagger in the act, call 9-1-1 to report a crime.  If your tip leads to the arrest of a vandal, you may receive as much as $1,000 in reward money from Crime Stoppers if the vandal is charged with a felony.


Reporting and Removing Graffiti on Private PropertyGraffitiCrime

In January 2007, the City of Stockton adopted a more stringent graffiti ordinance in an effort to reduce graffiti throughout the city.  The ordinance includes additional penalties and requires property owners to assist with removing and preventing graffiti on private property.


Start by calling the Graffiti Hotline to report the graffiti location.  Print the Graffiti Abatement Identification and Permission Form and mail it to the Anti-Graffiti Program address listed on the form.  This will give the Neighborhood Services Graffiti Abatement team permission to clean the graffiti from your property.


You can also report Graffiti online by filing the a request through Ask Stockton.


Last year, the city cleaned up over 3.5 million square feet of graffiti at a cost of more than $900,000. During that time, 261 arrests were made.


The City is dedicated to expediting graffiti clean-up by working with other local agencies, including San Joaquin County and CalTrans.


City Ordinance Community Benefits

Graffiti Offenders

  • Penalties include fines, payment for damages, imprisonment, community service, delay of driving privileges, and seizure of vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and other personal property used in the commission of the crime.

Parents of Graffiti Offenders

  • May be required to make payment for clean-up and other penalties.

Spray Paint Retailers

  • Increased inspection to ensure graffiti-causing products are locked up.

Property Owners

  • Encouraged to prevent graffiti by making architectural changes to property, such as installation of cameras, lights, and plantings that discourage graffiti.

Graffiti Removal Tips

What to do

  • Always have additional matching paint for the surface you want to keep free from graffiti.
  • If possible, remove graffiti daily.  Immediate removal of graffiti discourages vandals.
  • Report graffiti as soon as you see it.  Don't wait for someone else to reported it.

What NOT to do

  • Do not spot paint.  Paint with even strokes covering large square areas.
  • Do not use interior paint.  Only use exterior paint on outside walls and surfaces.
  • Do not paint property you do not have authorization to re-paint, such as mailboxes, street signs, overpasses, or signal boxes.  Contact the City of Stockton instead.


Gang-related Graffiti

How do I know if graffiti is gang-related?

Much of the graffiti located within the city of Stockton is not gang-related but linked to groups referred to as "Taggers."  Normally, taggers are teenagers who consider themselves street artists and take pride in putting their moniker or nickname on walls, signs, sidewalks, or other areas. Gang-related graffiti is normally easier to read, whereas tagger graffiti uses symbols and letters that are difficult to read.


Gang-related graffiti can be distinguished as follows:


  • Normally written in block-style letters.
  • May be done in gang color (blue or red).
  • Might contain moniker list (nicknames of members of gang).
  • May be crossed out by a rival gang.
  • Usually done in areas where gang activity is prevalent.

If you suspect gang graffiti in your neighborhood, or have any questions about graffiti, call the Stockton Police Gang Unit.

Home or business owners often ask if it is safe to remove graffiti from the walls of their homes or businesses.  It is okay to remove graffiti, as long as it is not done selectively.  In other words, remove all the graffit,i so the gang member does not feel their particular gang is being "picked on."

if you want to report graffiti at a specific location, or have questions about graffiti removal, please call the Graffiti Hotline.




External Links

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This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 5/10/2016