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Graffiti in Layton City: Questions and answers

Article Published 02/20/2018
Graffiti is a continuing problem in Layton City. In fact, some of the businesses in the City, west of I-15, were tagged with graffiti recently.
The Layton Police Department relies on residents to be observant and report any suspicious activity.
-Here’s a look at graffiti definitions, penalties, removal and the reporting process:
Q: What is graffiti?
A: "Graffiti" is the painting, writing, drawing, application of stickers or logos of any material, or otherwise marking of any property without the express written consent of the true owner, which defaces, detracts, or diminishes the value or reasonable appearance of the property.
Q: What is gang graffiti?
A: "Gang Graffiti" is graffiti that identifies, indicates, infers, or communicates in any way that it was done by a gang or member thereof, is about a gang or member thereof, or is to a gang or member thereof. 
The criteria to be used in making such a determination may include, but is not limited to, content (whether words, names, letters, initials, signs, pictures, or symbols), style of writing, colors used, location of the graffiti and that location's history regarding graffiti, how it was placed in reference to existing graffiti or gang graffiti (such as overstriking other graffiti or in response to other graffiti or gang graffiti), absence of or overstriking of certain letters, or the absence of particular colors.
Q: What is the penalty for graffiti?
A: Graffiti is prohibited by Layton City’s code. It is unlawful for any person to place, or assist, encourage, aid or participate, in the placement of, or cause to be placed, or be in attendance with others and acquiescing in the placement of graffiti upon any property.
Punishment can be a class B misdemeanor. First conviction imposes a minimum fine of $300. Second conviction is $500, the third is $700 and the fourth is $900.
Also, as part of the punishment, the offender is required to pay restitution for the damage caused and the cost of removal of the graffiti.
Q: What about graffiti removal?
A: According to Layton City ordinances: Owners of property, structures, buildings, or natural features upon which graffiti has been placed need to remove the graffiti within five calendar days after it was placed.
If they need assistance with the removal, they can contact the city.
Q: Why the rush for prompt graffiti removal?
A: The reason for requiring a quick removal is that the existence of graffiti encourages and invites additional graffiti.
Q: How does a resident report graffiti?
A: Call the Police Department non-emergency line at 801-497-8300.