Local News

Cleaning Gang Graffiti Can Be Expensive For Cities, Towns

Posted April 26, 2005 7:16 a.m. EDT

— Removing graffiti is costing taxpayers more money, and it is quickly becoming a bigger burden on everyone.

In recent months, Knightdale has seen an increase in gang graffiti and spray painting. Employees spend a few hours weekly cleaning it, whereas two years ago, they did not spend any time at all.

"I was really surprised we would have a problem like that in Knightdale," Knightdale Mayor Doug Boyd said.

Boyd said additional police patrols were added last weekend and a 10 p.m. curfew could soon be in place.

Wake County schools have seen a rise in graffiti to the point where they will start documenting manhours and money spent cleaning. The Wake County Sheriff's Office has taken more reports of property damage in the past year.

The city of Durham saw the number of clean-ups increase from 79 to 115 in one year. Each clean-up costs between $125 and $400.

While Knightdale is focusing on prevention, both Wake County and the city of Durham said the best way to handle graffiti is to remove it within 24 hours.