Archive for the ‘Graffiti vandals’ Category

My Camera Editorial Advisory Board comment published on Sept. 1, 2007:

Graffiti vandals’ squiggles, scrawls and murals of sorts make areas look trashy whether they be on a rock in the middle on nowhere, in a big, gang-ridden city, or in Old Town Erie. Therefore, I applaud Erie’s trustees for considering a graffiti ordinance to get graffiti cleaned up quickly. Lt. Lee Mathis, of the Erie Police Department, is right on in pointing out quick clean-up deters tagging vandals. However, Erie, as well as all other towns, should look at graffiti solutions more broadly. If Erie’s only solution is to re-victimize property owners by requiring they alone do the clean up or face cleaning charges or worse, the focus is too narrow.

Look at New York City. Its council passed a law in 2005 that banned the possession of “an aerosol spray paint can, broad-tipped indelible marker or etching acid in any public place, any public building or any public facility.” Though the law was challenged and had to be revised, the council is working hard on solutions.

Providence, R.I., formed a graffiti task force to team with Providence police. Then, officers waited in undercover cars, used surveillance cameras, monitored graffiti Web sites, and followed tips left on its recently established hot line. Their local anti-graffiti ordinance is stiff, too, by requiring 100 hours of community service, fines up to $1,000, and can hold parents or legal guardians accountable. On top of that, the city and state police offer rewards of up to $500 for the arrest and conviction of graffiti vandals.

Cities and towns across the globe are searching for solutions. The victims of the crime can help solve the graffiti problem, but they also need help.

*This title was not part of the original Camera publication.

Source: Daily Camera

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