Recently, the members of BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC), reviewed and voted to support San Francisco District 5 Supervisor London Breed's legislation to help deter repeat graffiti offenders. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will review and vote on the measure for a final time this week. The ordinance will then be presented to Mayor Ed Lee for his consideration and possible signature.
Based on a nationwide study of best practices, the new policies will streamline evidence-gathering, enable the San Francisco City Attorney to pursue civil lawsuits against the worst graffiti offenders, save the City money, and tighten graffiti controls in City parks and on Muni—all without harsh, ineffective criminal charges.
Supervisor Breed’s proposal will enable the City Attorney to pursue civil cases against repeat graffiti offenders or, taggers, who commit the overwhelming majority of offenses. The plan will centralize evidence collection by having the City’s graffiti abatement employees, particularly at the San Francisco Department of Public Works and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, photograph offenses with their smart phones. They then will submit those reports to San Francisco Police Department via the 311 app. 311 is customizing its interface to streamline this reporting and provide SFPD the best possible data with the reporter’s name, date, size of offense, type of material, etc.
Reporting employees will no longer have to make specific estimates of damages, as311 will calculate it automatically based on newly-created cost matrices. The SFPD will curate the database of offenses, and with the help of a new crime analyst, will identify serial tags and taggers. Those serial cases will be referred to the City Attorney to underpin civil suits for monetary damages and/or community service.