If you’ve noticed more graffiti over the past year, it’s not your imagination. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has seen a sharp rise in graffiti since the COVID-19 shutdowns, especially along the FM 1960 corridor in north Harris County.
Areas usually experience a spike in graffiti when children and adults are out of school or work, but cases rose even more dramatically during the pandemic, said Deputy Levi Baldon, who handles the abatement process in Harris County.
Baldon’s unit is tasked with removing graffiti from buildings, homes, public utilities, and fences throughout unincorporated Harris County. From January 2021 to July 2021, the sheriff’s office reported 102 graffiti removals in Districts 1, 2, and 5, which include parts of Precinct 4. The program aims to reduce graffiti by removing the incentive. Research shows that prompt graffiti removal may cut down on future crimes, leaving neighborhoods and businesses safer and cleaner. The free service is available to all residents and businesses in unincorporated Harris County.
To report graffiti, please contact the HCSO’s Graffiti Abatement Work Program at GraffitiAbatement@Sheriff.hctx.net.
Those who live in a municipality must report graffiti to local law enforcement. City of Houston residents can call the City of Houston 311 hotline or visit www.houston311.org to report graffiti.