Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

By Mary Jo Bacik
Special to the Village News 

Wiping out graffiti in Fallbrook

 

Last updated 7/9/2018 at 2:44pm

FBA director Marta Donovan scrubs graffiti off a Fallbrook sidewalk.

Fallbrook residents will have an opportunity to assist the Fallbrook Beautification Alliance in wiping out graffiti in Fallbrook, when shopping at Major Market during the month of July. Donations of $1 or $5 or more, made at the register, will be used to fight graffiti and help clean up and beautify our streets and parks.

In the first five months of 2018, FBA volunteers cleaned over 150 "tags" averaging 42 hours of work each month, wiping benches, painting poles and fences, scrubbing sidewalks and walls.

FBA historical data reflects an increase in the amount of graffiti in our village, and the six FBA volunteers who focus on cleanup are working hard to reverse that trend. Board member Shirley Fender, an eight year veteran, was joined four years ago by board member Marta Donovan and together they have built a small team of dedicated volunteers of all ages which include Dan Clouse, Susan Huff, Carina Perez and Talon Stover (National Junior Honor Society).

Since Fallbrook is unincorporated, we do not have the benefit of the city paying for graffiti removal. It rests on our community businesses, residents and volunteers. Studies suggest promptly removing graffiti results in discouraging taggers from returning to the same area. Prompt abatement keeps our town looking clean and graffiti-free!

Gang markings are particularly dangerous when left in place, encouraging retaliatory tagging. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, graffiti is not an isolated problem. Further criminal activity as a result of gang graffiti includes public disorder, shoplifting, gang violence and property destruction. Additionally, the National Association of Realtors states property values decrease of 15 percent in neighborhoods where graffiti is present. It is a problem that impacts us all.

If you see graffiti in town, report it. By doing so the tag will be photographed and added to the sheriff's database. FBA volunteers obtain a copy of the graffiti log every week from the Fallbrook Sheriff's department and remove graffiti in the public right of way.

Two-year volunteer Susan Huff cleans graffiti off a pole, accompanied by her dog, Hayden.

FBA graffiti abatement volunteers also interact with businesses and residents to encourage their involvement and timely removal of graffiti. Prompt notification helps raise awareness and assists the sheriff in building a database of repeat offenders or problem areas, making it easier to patrol and prosecute. All residents are encouraged to call the graffiti hotline (760) 451-3144 to submit a report. It's easy, callers will reach a recorded announcement and will be prompted to leave a short message, including a description of where the graffiti is located. That's it!

If you don't have the opportunity to shop at Fallbrook's Major Market during July, consider making an online donation at http://www.fallbrookbeautification.org. Any amount is appreciated and your contribution will go toward supplies and resources to clean up our town.

If you would like to be a part of this important effort, the FBA would love your help. There is a "contact me" form available on the FBA website, where you can indicate your interest and you will be personally contacted by a member of the group. Volunteers may choose to help out in their own neighborhood with graffiti removal and trash pickup or help where needed most. Cleaning and paint supplies are provided by the FBA.

 

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