Grand jury recommends steps to fight graffiti

SAN DIEGO — Local governments and jurisdictions throughout the region can do more to mitigate graffiti, San Diego County’s grand jury said Tuesday in a report.

Grand jurors said county residents see an “enormous” amount of graffiti, especially along mass transit routes, but it’s often unclear how and where to report the graffiti and get it removed.

The 19-member body recommended agencies consolidate resources and find a way to create one, single method for reporting graffiti across the county.

Cities and transit agencies, plus the county government, each currently have their own individual graffiti services organizations.

“All San Diego County jurisdictions encourage the public to report graffiti, but information on how to make these reports is difficult to find.,” the grand jury’s report said. “The lack of a single San Diego County point of contact (telephone hotline, smartphone application, or internet link) makes it even more difficult to report graffiti to the proper office.”

The grand jury, whose members serve for one year from July 1 to June 30 before they are replaced by another group, said it launched its investigation after receiving a complaint about large amounts of graffiti along Metropolitan Transit System trolley lines.

Since MTS shares some right-of-way with the North County Transit District, jurors also looked into that system, as well as bus routes for both, and used their findings along transit routes to draw conclusions about graffiti problems countywide.

Grand jurors said they found little to no signage in public places advising how to report graffiti, and said it was difficult to discern which agency was responsible for a graffiti-covered area since “often there is a very fine line between what is in the mass transit right-of-way and what is in state, county or city jurisdictions.”

The grand jurors did find one bright spot, however: They said the city of San Diego’s “Get It Done” app is “very effective” and “easy to use,” and they recommended using it as a basis for the countywide system they proposed.