BURLINGTON, N.C. -- A new law meant to clear graffiti out of Burlington by holding property owners responsible for the clean-up is now official.
The Graffiti Abatement law took effect Sunday.
It forces home and business owners to clean up graffiti within 10 days of it being reported. If that doesn't happen, the city of Burlington removes the graffiti and then sends a bill.
Police said the law serves two purposes: it keeps the city looking good and takes away a key tool used by gangs to threaten each other and instill fear in Burlington neighborhoods.
“About a year ago, we had a lot of areas that had graffiti,” said Lt. Bret Currie with the Burlington Police Department. “A lot of it was on abandoned properties and so gang members took advantage of that.”
The law was passed in 2013 and applies to homeowners as well as business owners.
Police said for now they'll focus on education of the law and give the public a 90-day grace period before enforcing it.