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  Deterring Graffiti Crime in Your Neighbourhood

Sep 25, 2002 08:47 ET

Graffiti is an act of vandalism that costs communities in increased taxes, declining property values and slumping local business. It is a $1.4 billion a year problem in Canada and a $56 billion problem worldwide. Residents and business owners in neighbourhoods plagued by graffiti are more fearful of crime and visitors are given the impression that no one cares about the neighbourhood. Intervention is required before businesses relocate, residents leave and the area is abandoned to vandalism.

The Clarington Youth Advisory Committee and the Durham Regional Police are doing something about graffiti crime before it escalates in our communities. With helpful advice from Staff Sergeant Heinz Kuck of the Toronto Police Service’s Graffiti Eradication Program, members of the committee and the general public learned how to manage graffiti proactively during a presentation at the Courtice Community Centre on September 24th.

80% of graffiti markings today are called ‘hip-hop’ graffiti in which youths either ‘tag’, ‘throw-up’ or ‘sketch’ on buildings, utility boxes, overpasses, public transit property, etc. Graffiti is spray-painted or drawn in permanent ink by youths hoping to receive recognition from other ‘taggers’ for their work. Although involved in a culture that uses graffiti, these youths are not members of criminal gangs marking their territories. Only 5-7% of graffiti crimes are gang-related.

How to deter graffiti in your area:

  1. Restrict access to walls by planting ivy or trees
  2. Apply graffiti-resistant coatings to protect walls,
  3. Increase lighting in vulnerable areas
  4. Install video surveillance
  5. Establish a strong Neighbourhood Watch Program in the area
The most effective way to prevent further acts of vandalism is to remove the graffiti quickly. Covering graffiti with an attractive mural also deters youths from marking the area.

For more information on graffiti crime and youth strategies, contact the Youth Officer at your local Community Police Office.


Below are attached files.
Graffiti from street crime unit (JPG file, 8.1K bytes)
S/Sgt Kuck receives gift from Committee Leader S. Archibald (JPG file, 16.2K bytes)
Youth Officer Cst. Grant and Cst. Hawrychuk of DRP (JPG file, 21.0K bytes)