Graffiti is sprayed at millions of locations every day. Graffiti comes out in different ways such as: gang graffiti, tagger graffiti, conventional graffiti, and ideological graffiti. Graffiti usually happens in urban environments on public and private property. In many cases, graffiti is seen as acceptable urban art, and not a problem. However, Center for Problem-Oriented Policing (POP Center) disagrees and says that graffiti is indeed a problem, and believes there needs to be methods on how to stop graffiti vandalism. The reason graffiti prevention is not important for some is because the problem is not important enough.
Some people do not report graffiti or see a need to prevent it because they do not see it as “real crime” problem, or they believe the police know how to stop graffiti vandalism. The media has elevated and promoted graffiti as an “acceptable form of urban street art”. Famous graffiti artists like Banksy have developed huge recognition, and people love the ideological images he produces. Graffiti is not seen as a problem because they are not aware of the problem it produces.
A single or few incidents of graffiti may not seem as problems, but graffiti accumulates. An area that was sprayed with graffiti seems to attract more graffiti. The motives of the graffiti offenders vary, but all offenders do graffiti so others can see their message or art. Because graffiti offenders want recognition, graffiti spreads to more than one area like a virus or disease.
Graffiti is usually targeted on public property. The national annual cost for monitoring, detecting, removing, and repairing graffiti damage is estimated to be as high as 15 to 18 billion dollars. A lot of the public sees graffiti as the government not doing its job to enforce laws and protect property. The POP center says that graffiti contributes to loss of ridership on public transit systems, and reduced sales because of decline in property value. Graffiti has a perception that is related to gang activity. In addition, graffiti in itself is not a problem in a vacuum, but other crimes and disorders are related to graffiti.
Graffiti for some may be an art, but for many others graffiti is a problem that negatively affects many neighborhoods and people. Graffiti may be applauded, but the negative aspects of graffiti out way the good. The public should be aware of these so police and communities can have more of an impact in stopping graffiti vandalism. Graffiti prevention is much needed nationally and is a friend for all.