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  • BVNA

Why Gang Graffiti Is Dangerous

Buena Vista is fairly regularly hit by graffiti and tagging and whether it's in the park, or on private property, it's critical that we work together as a community to try to cover it as quickly as possible. We all know that graffiti has a negative effect on our community and along with lowering neighborhood appeal, decreasing property values, and driving away prospective homebuyers, it also attracts more criminal activity. Worst of all, gang members use the graffiti to promote themselves. Covering up this graffiti takes away this gang tool and improves the overall look of neighborhoods. Doing it quickly (within 24 hours) discourages the behavior by rendering it (the behavior) ineffective. If you see tagging, please take a moment to take a picture and report it!

The City of San Jose has a number of free resources for abating graffiti, some of which allow you to cover the graffiti yourself, alternatively the City has a team that comes out and repaints surfaces.

The purpose of gang graffiti is to glorify the gang. Gang graffiti is meant to create a sense of intimidation and may increase the sense of fear within a neighborhood. Gang members use graffiti to mark their territory or turf, declare their allegiance to the gang, advertise a gang’s status or power, and to challenge rivals. Graffiti is used to communicate messages between gangs using codes with common meaning.

Of greater concern is the inherent violence associated with gang graffiti. When a neighborhood is marked with graffiti indicating territorial dominance, the entire area and its inhabitants become targets for violence. Anyone in the street or in their home is fair game for drive-by attacks by rival gang members. A rival gang identifies everyonein a neighborhood as a potential threat. Consequently, innocent residents are often subjected to gang violence by the mere presence of graffiti in their neighborhood.

If a friend or family member is getting involved in gang activity, there are resources for you and them available through the city and county including education, substance abuse programs, tatoo removal services, and more. For more information on the Gang Prevention Task Force and the Gang Intervention Program check out:


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