City of East Providence establishes tougher graffiti ordinance
East Providence, RI – The City of East Providence Administration is taking a proactive stance against defacement and graffiti by amending the City’s ordinance with stronger language and fines to combat vandalism in the city. The amended ordinance was approved by the East Providence City Council on May 16, 2023.
Vandalism has been a growing concern in our community, defacing public and private properties, causing economic costs, and impacting the overall aesthetic appeal of our city.
In April, the City announced its establishment of the Graffiti Eradication Task Force to combat graffiti vandalism and encourage residents to report incidents for swift removal and investigation.
“The amendment to the ordinance as well as the establishment of the Graffiti Eradication Task Force is part of the city's commitment to ensuring that our neighborhoods remain safe, clean, and visually appealing for all residents and visitors and that violators are held accountable for their actions,” Mayor Bob DaSilva said.
The amendment enables the city to have the person who defaces property responsible in the removal of the demage within 10 days and failure to do so results in the matter being referred to the East Providence Municipal Court and the responsible party to be fined:
• $100 for the first offense
• $250 for the second offense
• $500 for each subsequent offense.
It also enables a property owner to recover a fine and damages of up to $1,000 per incident ordered by the court.
The amendment also enables the city to fine any minor or adult placing graffiti on any city-owned property or private property without permission. Violators will be fined:
• $250 and/or 50 hours of community service for the first offense
• $350 and/or 100 hours of community service for the second offense.
And at least one parent or guardian of the minor shall be present for a minimum of 50 percent of the assigned community service.
In addition to the fines, the violator will be made to make restitution to the victim for damages or loss caused by the graffiti and will be forced to remove the graffiti within 24 hours after notice by the city or property owner. Police officers are also authorized to issue a citation for any violation of graffiti.
Lastly, the ordinance will make it unlawful for business owners to provide a minor with graffiti materials such as spray paint without written consent from the minor’s parents or guardian. If a business owner sells to a minor without parental consent, it will be fined $100 for each offense.
“This amended ordinance sends a strong message that graffiti will not be tolerated in East Providence,” East Providence Police Chief Chris Francesconi said. “This ordinance sets forth stricter penalties for those who deface public and private property in our city.”
The City of East Providence encourages residents to play an active role in the eradication of graffiti vandalism by reporting any incidents they come across through the city’s Request for Service reporting tool. Prompt reporting will enable the task force to take swift action in removing the graffiti and investigating the responsible individuals. Property owners, requesting the city to remove the graffiti from their properties, will need to fill out a graffiti removal consent form available here: https://eastprovidenceri.gov/form/graffiti-removal-consent-form-property-owners
To report graffiti vandalism or suspicious activity, residents can:
• call the East Providence Police Department at (401) 435-7600
• use the Tip411 App https://www.tip411.com/tips/eastprovidenceripd/new
• use the Request for Service tool https://eastprovidenceri.qscend.com/311/request/add
• visit the city’s website at www.eastprovidenceri.gov.
Reports can be made anonymously, and all information provided will be treated with confidentiality.
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