Gang Awareness
Gang Awareness

Learn how to recognize gang activity and prevent gang involvement among youth.
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address: Attorney General of Florida
The Capitol, PL-01
Tallahassee, FL 32399
phone: (850) 414-3300
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Graffiti

Graffiti are images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted, or marked in any manner on property. Each gang has its unique symbols and cryptic types of writing. It is used as a form of communication to publicize a gang’s power, status, and territory. Gang members use graffiti to send messages to other gangs using codes with common meanings, mark their territory or turf, declare their allegiance to the gang, advertise a gang’s status or power, and to challenge rivals. Graffiti that is drawn upside down or crossed out is generally a 'put down' or threat to a rival gang or person. Some gangs will even use graffiti as 'Death warrants' towards police officers.

Graffiti, by legal definition, is vandalism. It is the unauthorized application of markings on someone else’s property, i.e., WITHOUT PERMISSION.

The intent of gang graffiti is to glorify the gang. Gang graffiti is also meant to create a sense of intimidation and may increase the sense of fear within a neighborhood. There is an inherent violence associated with gang graffiti. A neighborhood marked with gang graffiti is a neighborhood threatened by crime and violence associated with gang activity, such as drive-by attacks.

Learn more:
Florida Department of Corrections - Gangs and Security Threat Group Awareness

Remember the 4 R's of graffiti:

READ IT, RECORD IT, REPORT IT & REMOVE IT

  • Read it
    Gang graffiti can be dangerous, remember it can contain an outright threat
  • Record it
    Graffiti should be photographed for future use
  • Report it
    Graffiti should be reported to your local law enforcement agency
  • Remove it
    Graffiti should be removed as soon as possible after it is discovered

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