Prevent graffiti

From landscaping to fencing material, there are many ways to try to prevent graffiti.

Report graffiti

Call 911 immediately if you notice anyone about to vandalize property with graffiti or commit any other crime.

Call 311 to anonymously report graffiti or graffiti vandals.

Dress up flat surfaces

Plant vines on a trellis to protect blank walls

Graffiti vandals tend to target large flat surfaces such as sides of buildings, garages, retaining walls and fences.

Here are some tips to help protect these surfaces from vandals:

Plant ivy or other clinging plants  Ivy or other plants and vines that scale flat surfaces make your property greener and reduce the risk of graffiti. Use trellises to keep things neat and organized. If your structures are on concrete, artificial ivy or other synthetic plants can be used.

Install murals or mosaics – Because graffiti vandals like clean canvases, decorating with murals, mosaics or other wall scenery can help deter them.

Use fencing that does not have a flat surface – Some fencing has a flat surface sought by vandals. Fencing with board gaps or lattices lets you enclose your yard without inviting graffiti.

Design your outdoor space

black metal fence

Thoughtfully shaping outdoor spaces can help reduce graffiti and other crime. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a practice that recommends approaches including:

  • Natural observation
    • Make sure public spaces can be seen from private spaces.
    • Make sure private spaces can be seen from public spaces.
    • Add lighting to dark spaces. 
  • Boundary emphasis – Use hedges or other design elements to create and define the border between public and private spaces.
  • Natural limits – Use elements like fences and gates to restrict access to private areas.

Support home and community

Children with adults doing community planting

Create community pride  Parents, teachers and community leaders can discourage graffiti by encouraging civic pride in children, students and residents. The more a person is involved with their community, the less likely they are to vandalize it.

Teach responsibility and respect – Teach children that graffiti on private or public property is illegal and disrespectful. Graffiti is an act of vandalism that damages someone else's property without permission. 

Organize a group – There are many ways to join with others to tackle graffiti.

  • Form a neighborhood graffiti removal crew and remove graffiti for those who can't do it themselves.
  • Ask neighborhood businesses to sponsor cleanup and prevention efforts.
  • Create a watch force for areas that are often vandalized.
  • Involve community youth in removing graffiti.
  • Help identify and apprehend graffiti vandals.
  • Take part in the City’s public property adoption programs.

Work with a Crime Prevention Specialist

Specialists run block clubs, train block leaders and watch crime trends. The specialist for your area can help you and your neighbors reduce graffiti.

Contact us

Clean City Coordinator

Public Works - Solid Waste & Recycling




Eastside Maintenance Facility
2635 University Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Office hours

8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday

This building is closed to the public.

Minneapolis 311


7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday – Friday

See list of City holidays