Why is graffiti against the law? – Planet Stencils Spray Paint Art Techniques

Graffiti on public property is illegal. For a more in-depth explanation of the current laws, use this link to read The Graffiti Removal Laws of New York.

What graffiti laws apply in my community?

To find out where graffiti is most commonly found in your area, check out this helpful map.

I am writing a story about graffiti. How can I report it?

Contact the New York City Police Department, or any city agency concerned with graffiti in the city. If you require an agent by phone, use the information provided by the New York City Department of Sanitation, on its website, or by phone (212-692-2400).

I am working with the police and would like to report graffiti to police. Can you help me with that?


Contact city officials at 311 via email or telephone on your phone. Provide them with a detailed description of the alleged vandalism. Keep in mind that it’s also important to keep in mind that if you are arrested before a police officer is able to obtain a proper description, it’s unlikely that the officer’s investigation is thorough enough to catch and locate the source of the graffiti.

Finally, be sure to include a clear and concise description of the situation at hand (e.g., “graffiti vandalism”). The City of New York is actively seeking graffiti victims who have information that could assist in the resolution of such incidents. Those in contact with the city in these circumstances should also consider having some form of recording device.

Please note that we are not trained in this area of law. The following is provided as a courtesy to those who have asked for legal guidance. Should you have specific legal questions or require representation, please do not hesitate to contact us. See the contact information listed at the end of this article.

I had to remove graffiti from my wall. What should I do?

Contact a professional artist and have them remove what you removed. If the damage was on your exterior wall (not your interior wall), it would be best to repair the damaged wall, or at least have the wall marked. If you removed the graffiti yourself (including painting, with a paint brush, with a spray can, or with fingernail clippers), you are responsible for repairing any damage to whatever you may have left behind and replacing the damaged materials.

Does it have to be fixed?

Graffiti in places where there has been building construction or a major renovation will typically require replacement of

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