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Question: Is gang graffiti just meaningless scribble or is it some type of art?



It's neither. While some graffiti has elements of artistic flair, it serves as a gang advertisement or newspaper. Graffiti not only marks a territory a gang has claimed; it also serves as a warning and challenge to other gangs. Graffiti, depending how it is written, can also honor a fallen comrade (usually with a tombstone or RIP), list the street names of gang members, and show opposition and disrespect for another gang.  Gang graffiti should be reported to the police. The police may wish to photograph the graffiti so that they know which gang is operating in which area.  Graffiti removal should NEVER be done by one individual. Gangs have been known to retaliate against individuals painting over their graffiti. Again, there is safety in numbers.


The City of Rockford Graffiti Hotline


If you own property that has been defaced by gang graffiti and you wish to report it to the police, please call the Rockford Police Department non-emergency number, 815-966-2900.  After reporting the graffiti to the police, you can call the City of Rockford Graffiti Hotline at  815-961-3243 for assistance in removing the graffiti and repainting.  If you do not wish to report the incident to the police, you may still call the Graffiti Hotline for assistance.  The Graffiti Hotline will not notify the police of any graffiti they remove.  When reporting graffiti to the hotline, please provide the address of the defaced building, structure or property.


• Please click HERE for information on Gang Awareness

Rockford Police Department 420 West State Street Rockford, IL 61101-1288
Phone: (815) 987-5839 Fax: (815) 961-3208 TDD: (815) 987-5495
Emergency: 911 Non-Emergency: (815) 966-2900

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Special thanks to Jason Rotello and Tamika Jones for contributing images for the City of Rockford website.