Anti-Graffiti Program

General Information

The City of Imperial is taking action to wipe out graffiti and clean up crime. The Code Enforcement, Public Works, and Police Department are working together to manage a practical Graffiti Abatement Program in Imperial. The City is working to keep neighborhoods clean and attractive through various activities including abatement programs, educational outreach, community involvement and police enforcement.
For assistance, call the Graffiti Hotline (760) 355-1064.

Mission Statement

To maintain and improve the quality of our community by removing graffiti from private and public property through:

  • Empowerment - to remove and prevent graffiti throughout the City of Imperial by empowering citizens and instilling neighborhood pride;

  • Education- to improve the quality of life in the City of Imperial by removing and preventing graffiti through educational programs and community outreach;

  • Enforcement- develop and administer graffiti intervention and suppression programs for the City of Imperial;

  • Eradication- continue abatement efforts through the Graffiti Abatement Program, Public Works, Community Volunteers, and the Youth Abatement Program.

Core Services

We will assist residences within the City of Imperial city limits in four ways:

  • By providing, free of charge, one of four standardized paint colors for residents to utilize in graffiti removal on their own property;

  • Providing custom color matched paint up to one gallon on a one time basis for the property owner to abate their own property;

  • Abate graffiti on any city structure located near or around their property or neighborhood;

  • And, provide anti-graffiti information and referral services. We will abate graffiti on private residences whose owners fail to comply with the City of Imperial current anti-graffiti ordinance (ICC 15-12.7). These property owners are subject to a service fee and clouded title.

Graffiti Abatement

Hot Line Phone Number (760) 355-1064 or visit

If you plan to remove graffiti yourself, use the Record-Report-Remove method outlined in this program.

Working Together to Clean Up Graffiti

The City of Imperial is taking action to wipe out graffiti and clean up crime. The Department of Public Works, Code Enforcement, and Police Departments are working together to manage a first-rate Graffiti Abatement Program. The City is working to keep its neighborhoods clean and attractive through various activities including graffiti removal programs, educational outreach, community involvement and police enforcement.

How You Can Help

Report areas and locations of graffiti to the Code Enforcement Graffiti Hotline at (760) 355-1064 or at

Assist in the clean up of your community by volunteering at city neighborhood clean up events; adopt a location in your area that is vandalized regularly, or organizing a neighborhood watch program through the Police Department.

Report graffiti vandals and vandalism through the Graffiti Hotline. Graffiti is a crime and violators can be prosecuted. You may be eligible for a reward.

Residents, neighborhood associations and business owners throughout Imperial have joined efforts with the City to help prevent and clean up graffiti. These volunteers understand that prompt removal of graffiti reduces the chance of reoccurrence.

Learn about other organized community involvement programs such as Adopt a Site and the Record-Report-Remove procedure. For further information, call(760) 355-1064.

It's Out of Sight with Adopt a Site

Many citizens have adopted a public site near their home or business and routinely clean off graffiti when it appears at their adopted location. Since neighbors are the first to see graffiti and can remove it immediately, this program is the most effective way to clean up graffiti. The City of Imperial helps these volunteers by providing training on proper removal techniques and supplying paint and removal products.

If you are interested in adopting a local bus shelter, retaining wall or other public site, please contact Code Enforcement Department at (760) 355-1064.

If you see a vandalism crime in progress, immediately call and report it to the Imperial Police Department at (760) 355-1158. Remember to be as descriptive as possible about the people and vehicles involved, including the license plate number.

Graffiti Abatement
Do Not Remove from These Properties!

In many cases, graffiti should not be removed from surfaces, but reported to the responsible public agency i.e. IID, Gas Co., AT&T etc.  instead. Please call the appropriate agency to report graffiti for removal. If you are unsure about which agency to call, try our Graffiti Hotline (760) 355-1064. Prior permission to remove the graffiti is important. If you have already acquired permission from the property owner, or you are the property owner, click here or attach images to the graffiti report form. Please keep copies of the photographs for your personal record.

City of Imperial, Graffiti Abatement Program
Code Enforcement Department - (760) 355-1064

Graffiti Crimes in Progress
Imperial Police Department - (760) 355-1158

Record - Report - Remove

If you plan to remove graffiti yourself, use the Record - Report - Remove method.

Record. Photographs help the police identify local graffiti hot spots. Gang-related graffiti is forwarded to the Police Department for identification and intelligence purposes. If a trail of photographic evidence can be tied to a vandal who has been caught, it may raise the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Visually record the graffiti using a color camera (film or digital). For every picture you will send to the police, make a duplicate to keep for your personal records. On the back of the photographs, write your name, date, and detailed description of the location of the graffiti and mail it to the City of Imperial Code Enforcement Department, 420 S. Imperial Ave., Imperial, CA 92251. Or attach images to the graffiti report form. Please keep copies of the photographs for your personal record.

Report. It is critical to report to the appropriate agency. It is also important to have a cross street for the location.

For your property: Before removing the graffiti, simply call the Police Department's non-emergency number at (760) 355-4327 to report it as a crime. If appropriate, indicate that the graffiti is general blight, or a bias crime, a.k.a. "hate" crime.

For property other than your own: Call the Police Department's non-emergency number at (760) 355-4327 to report the graffiti.

Remove. Graffiti is a simple step-by-step process. Follow the detailed instructions outlined in the next section.

If you choose to remove gang-related graffiti, be aware! Gang members may take offense to your actions. It's best to remove gang graffiti during early daylight hours with a partner. If you feel your safety is at risk, record and report the graffiti, but do not remove it yourself. Call the appropriate agency to have them remove it.

  • Don't paint these surfaces!

  • Postal boxes

  • Traffic control boxes

  • Light poles/telephone poles

  • IID Property

  • Bus shelters & benches

  • Telephone booths

  • Dumpsters

  • Red brick (unpainted)

  • Newspaper boxes

  • Meters - parking, gas or water SMUD boxes

  • City Property

  • Private Property without owner permission

Safety Tips

  1. Make sure you have permission to remove graffiti on private or public property
  2. Be aware of your surroundings
  3. Do not possess or use alcohol/drugs while working
  4. Obey warning signs, posted instruction, and placards regarding restricted areas
  5. Wear proper clothing, something you can get paint on
  6. Wear protective equipment when specified by graffiti remover product manufacturer
  7. Do not stand on unsafe equipment
  8. Please dispose of all hazardous materials in accordance with City and State guidelines
  9. When possible, go out with a friend. Remember: Safety in numbers!

Step-by-Step Removal Tips

  1. Identify the method of application and the surface.
    The sooner you remove graffiti, the easier it is to clean. Before you select the best removal method, identify the surface to be cleaned and the method used to apply the graffiti. Smooth, hard surfaces are the easiest to clean and rough, porous surfaces are the most difficult. Materials used to apply graffiti include spray paint, grease pencils, felt-tipped pens, water-based paint, stickers, shoe polish and even crayons.

  2. Choose a removal method.
    Try using soap, water and a soft brush first. If that doesn't work, use a removal product that's appropriate for the application method and surface. (See: Graffiti Removal at a Glance) In many instances, graffiti can be cleaned using a removal product rather than painting over it. Removing graffiti is preferred since it is easier than painting and eliminates the difficulty of matching paint.
    The removal materials listed are inexpensive, portable and easy to use. Most are non-toxic and available through the Graffiti Abatement Program.
    While the brand name products listed below are not the only ones on the market, they can be very effective in removing graffiti.

  3. Locate removal supplies.
    Graffiti removal supplies can be located at any hardware store, i.e. Lowe's, Imperial Do It Yourself Center, Home Depot. 

  4. Avoid the "Patch Work" Look.
    If you are going to paint over the graffiti, make sure to match the color of paint being used to cover the graffiti as close as possible to the surface (original) color. If this cannot be done make sure to cover the entire surface instead of small "patch" of the surface.

 For Referral Services, call (760) 355-1064.

If you use chemicals, follow manufacturer's instructions and wear proper protective equipment. Some removers may damage some painted surfaces.

Graffiti Removal at a Glance


Method of Graffiti

Removal Method

Painted wood or metal


Denatured alcohol or Lift Off or similar product

Painted wood, concrete or metal

Spray paint

Denatured alcohol or repaint

Traffic signal boxes


Lift Off or similar product

Unpainted concrete, stucco or aggregate

Pens or spray paint

Lift Off or similar product, then water under pressure with a wire brush

Glass or plastic

Pens, spray paint or stickers

Window scraper, then denatured alcohol