ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The number of graffiti tags across Albuquerque is up by more than 5,000, and the city can’t explain why.
“I can’t seem to tell you. I don’t think we’ve identified exactly why there’s been more reports,” said Gilbert Montano, Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard Berry.
The city keeps track of graffiti numbers in a Fiscal Year calendar. In FY July 2016, there were 5,098 cleaned up tags. In FY July 2017, there have been 7,103 tags.
“That’s why we’ve increased some of our staffing numbers as far as our crews to ensure we are able to clean up the city as quickly as possible,” said Montano.
The city increased the number of graffiti cleaning crews from 15 to 17. They work every day from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. cleaning up tags.
“It just makes the city look worse if you’re not cleaning it up aggressively,” said Montano.
While there is an increase in overall numbers, the number of tags reported through the city’s 311 app is down. In FY 2016, 19,543 cases of graffiti were reported through the 311 app. In FY 2017, only 11,316 cases of graffiti were reported.
Meaning, crews are having to find more graffiti on their own.
The city encourages everyone to post graffiti they see on the 311 app, so they can spend more time cleaning and less time searching.
The city says once it is aware of graffiti, its goal is to have it cleaned up in 24 hours.