Homeowner Says Graffiti Taking Over His Neighborhood

Man Is Frustrated By City's Response

Graffiti is not a new problem in Bakersfield, but one man is fed up with the tagging and the trouble he says he has getting the city to remove the graffiti.

George Watson lives in south Bakersfield and says graffiti is pretty much a constant problem. He is frustrated with the city's response to it.

The area near Hosking and South H Street is lined with newer homes, but the walls that border the subdivisions provide the perfect canvas for taggers.

"The graffiti is just out of hand. It’s been this way for the last couple of years and it seems to be getting worse," Watson said.

Watson owns a home in the area and says the neighborhood is always full of graffiti. He says he calls the city to report it, but nothing seems to happen.

"They don’t call you back. You get no confirmation that they've ever taken a report," Watson said.

23ABC checked with the city and it says the neighborhood in question is one of the most heavily tagged areas in the entire city.

City officials say the problem is so bad that sometimes they remove graffiti and it will pop back up so quickly, the homeowner thinks the city never responded.

"Because this is there, it encourages more people to come along and graffiti on top of it," Watson said.

The city's graffiti removal unit says in the last 30 days, it has responded to the area 39 times. It says on average it removes 10 to 15 tags each time. That’s more than 500 tags removed in the last month.

Watson says he also frustrated the taggers never seem to be caught.

"What I don’t understand is why we are not enforcing these laws and prosecuting these people and getting them off the street," Watson said.

The city says it also uses a lot of volunteers to help keep up with the graffiti problem. The city supplies them with everything they need; the volunteers just have to supply the manpower. If you'd like more information on how to become a volunteer, just call the city’s Graffiti Removal Unit at 326-7273.

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