Graffiti and tagging are an ongoing issue for businesses and residents in Bellingham. While some graffiti may be quite artistic, it is rarely done with the permission from the property owner.
Tagging differs from graffiti as it has roots in gang activity. These tags serve as territorial markers and even messages from one gang to another. Both are generally considered eyesores in a neighborhood.
While the property owner and police department want to see these markings removed as soon as possible we do want to photograph the affected area. We have been successful in the past in locating the culprits and holding them accountable for their destructive actions. After we have taken the photographs we do want the damage covered or removed quickly.
Our officers are assigned smart phones and they can photograph the graffiti or tagging fairly quickly. Each time that we receive a report of this nature we write a police report and photos are attached to that document. Because of this we are able to track this activity and focus our patrol routes if we are being overwhelmed with damage in a particular area.
This type of report is not eligible for our On-line Reporting feature. If you see a fresh incidence of graffiti or tagging call 911 or submit a tip online.