Gang members use graffiti to mark their gang's "turf" or "territory."
They also use it to advertise the gang's status or power and to declare their own allegiance to the gang. A rival gang identifies everyone in the neighborhood as a potential threat. Consequently, innocent residents can be subjected to gang violence or theft by the mere presence of graffiti in their neighborhood.
Gangs attempt to instill fear, intimidating rivals and citizens alike. The gang's power grows through use of fear and intimidation. This can be countered by citizen action groups such as Neighborhood Watch. A neighborhood that is united and dedicated in a spirit of cooperation toward stopping crime and violence will greatly hamper the gang's effort to flourish.
When incidents occur, cooperate with authorities. Your help and cooperation may prevent others from becoming victims of gang violence. Information concerning gang crimes, wanted suspects, or any violent gang activity should be reported to the police.