ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The city is getting hit hard when it comes to vandals tagging all across Albuquerque. Crews are responding to 20 or more calls each day compared to last spring.
The city has 15 crews out each day looking for graffiti that doesn’t belong.
Last spring these crews were averaging 53 graffiti clean-ups each day, this year that number has increased to 73. Bobby Sisneros with the City of Albuquerque said it’s a significant increase.
“Normally we’re used to seeing a rise as the weather warms up but we’ve never seen anything like this,” Sisneros said.
Sisneros said the increase could be because of two things. It’s either vandals are tagging more or people are finding it easier to report.
“It’s a team effort so we rely on the citizens to let us know,” Sisneros said. “We ask folks to call 311 and report it and due to this app we’ve noticed an increase in the amount of graffiti we’re seeing.”
The last few weeks, the app has been flooded with graffiti reports. By 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, there were 11 graffiti reports alone on the app, and from Monday there were 19 graffiti reports. But the city said if anything the app has only helped.
“We’re glad to see people using the app,” Sisneros said. “They catch things our crews sometimes don’t.”
Sisneros said crews typically respond to a report within 24 hours. He said one report doesn’t take president over another.
To help the issue the city now has a graffiti removal crew working weekends. The city’s budget for graffiti cleanup is nearly $1.3 million.