What is a Tagger?
A “tagger” is someone who adopts a unique nickname or “moniker” and then puts his nickname on objects in the form of graffiti, vandalizing, or causing damage to the object. A “oner” is an individual who goes and tags on his/her own, with ambitions to enter a tagging crew.A “tagging crew” is a group of vandals who vandalize neighborhoods while representing a group they are part of.
* According to COBRA (Gang and Juvenile Crime Unit), most tagging crews can become active gangs.
How Do I Know if My Teen May Be a Tagger?Typically, taggers are between ages 13-21 years old, and do the following.
- Adopts an individual moniker or “tag” (nickname).
- Stays out late at night and early morning. (Taggers tag between 12:00 a.m.—6:00 a.m.)
- Wears loose or baggy clothing, to hold and conceal paint cans or graffiti tools.
- Posses graffiti paraphernalia (i.e., markers and spray paint), etching tools (i.e., rocks, glass cutters, and screwdrivers), “My Name Is” and U.S. Postal Service stickers, graffiti magazines, and a notebook that has samples of their tag. The law says that spray paint may only be purchased by individuals 18 years of age and up– your teen’s possession of spray paint is a red-flag warning.
- Doodles graffiti on personal items such as clothing, binders, backpacks, school books, skateboards, and on the underside of the bill of their baseball hats.
- Have paint on the tips of his/her fingers and permanent marker stains on his/her hands.
- Associates with other children with the traits described above.
Tips for Parents
- Search your child’s room for Graffiti paraphernalia. You have the right as a parent.
- Know your child’s friends.
- Know what your child is doing with their time, and verify where they are.
- Encourage your child to participate in positive after-school activities.
- Talk to your child about the negative consequences of tagging.
- Ensure your child obeys the Curfew Ordinance. The City’s Curfew Ordinance states that it is unlawful for minor under the age of eighteen (18) years to remain upon any public street, avenue, highway road, curb area, public building, place of amusement, or eating place, between the hours of ten p.m. and six a.m. More information on the city’s curfew ordinance.
- Be knowledgeable about taggers, and confront your child about the issue, if necessary.
View “Tag You’re It” video.