PORTLAND — Portland has launched an anti-graffiti website that gives residents and business owners tips for preventing it and an easy way to report it.

The website launched Wednesday as part of the city’s effort to combat graffiti, which officials say is unsightly and can lead to more serious crime if not cleaned up promptly.

The website, police.portlandmaine.gov/graffiti.asp, includes tips like what surfaces are attractive to those doing graffiti – smooth, light-colored, regular paint and patched and dirty – and which are unattractive – rough, dark-colored, clean and coated with anti-graffiti paint.

“It’s just a start, but I’m thrilled it’s up and running,” said Trish McAllister, the neighborhood prosecutor assigned to the Police Department.