Nearly all San Francisco restaurants experienced graffiti or property crime in August: Survey

News & Politics

Only 3% of San Francisco restaurants have not experienced graffiti or other property crime in the past month, according to a survey conducted by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.

The city trade group sent a survey to San Francisco restaurant owners at the end of August, according to archived newsletters on its website.

“If your restaurant has dealt with graffiti or property crime in the last 30 days, please fill out the survey below,” the Golden Gate Restaurant Association instructed.

The survey asked whether restaurant owners had experienced “graffiti,” a “break-in,” other property crime, or no property crime at their establishment in the past 30 days. Restaurant owners were also asked whether they reported the crimes to the police and whether they applied to receive graffiti abatement funds or vandalism relief grants from the city.

Of the 74 respondents, all but 3% reported that they had experienced property crime at their restaurant, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

San Francisco has reportedly spent roughly $1 million on grants to repair vandalism since 2021. Last year, the city implemented a $4 million pilot program to provide free graffiti removal for businesses.

Rachel Gordon, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Department of Public Works, told KGO-TV that since the pilot program was launched, the city has seen a 74% spike in reporting of graffiti on private property.

Gordon added that the Board of Supervisors paused graffiti removal enforcement for over a year due to COVID concerns.

An annual California Department of Justice report revealed that property crime spiked 6.2% in 2022. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the city ranked number one for property crime in 2019 and was in the top three in 2020. It noted that the city’s property crime rate was 41% above average of the 20 most populous cities in 2020.

Restaurant owners experiencing property crimes are encouraged to report incidents to the city’s 311 call center. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the center has received approximately 10,000 reports of tagging on commercial property over the past six months.

The city’s website states that the response time for reported graffiti is between 48 hours to three days. It notes that graffiti on parking or traffic signs can take up to 20 days to receive a response.

“Public Works responds to graffiti requests that are on both public and private property. Public Works has a goal of responding to graffiti requests on public property within 48 hours, and private property within 72 hours,” it states. According to reporting, the San Francisco Department of Public Works’ “on-time” response rate has been 55%.

The restaurant owner of a pizza place in the Mission District told KGO-TV that taggers had used acid to paint his establishment’s windows.

“This is acid, so you can’t just remove it. They have to replace the glass,” Leandro Jayme said. He noted that replacing each small glass panel would cost roughly $300.

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