- Posted On: March 20, 2015
Graffiti is an eyesore in many communities, lowering property values and affecting neighborhoods and businesses both. Some forms of graffiti are tags – a means of tagging or marking out gang territory. In some cases, gang members are letting interested parties know about how to arrange for drug sales. Other times one gang is using graffiti to deride or warn off another gang. But, the fact is, that only a small percentage of graffiti is connected to gangs.
Gang-related or not, graffiti is vandalism and is a growing problem in many communities across this vast nation. Arrest and prosecution statistics show us that most of the time perpetrators are young, white males. These young men are not limiting their criminal behavior to deserted areas of town, however. Often, they are putting up messages in the heart of family neighborhoods.
Graffiti can make residents feel unsafe. The fear many people have is that even if they do remove the graffiti, what if the vandal comes back again? Furthermore, when it happens on a person’s home or fence, they are responsible for cleaning it up, so it is also can require a large amount of time to clean up.
There are several ways to approach graffiti abatement but it requires a partnership between citizens and government. One town that had seen an increase in graffiti was ready to fight back. When police managed to apprehend two young men (ages 16 and 17) they wound up facing a one to four year prison sentence for felony criminal mischief along with the possibility of having to make financial restitution.
Police vigilance plays an important role in graffiti abatement. When graffiti shows up, officers need to increase the number of patrols in affected areas. This tells both citizens and offenders that the city knows and cares about the problem. Citizens who see patrol cars know that their concerns are not being ignored.
One of the best ways to achieve graffiti abatement however is as simple as rapid removal. When the city or property owners clean it up promptly they are saying loudly and clearly that this kind of vandalism will not be tolerated. Studies show that when graffiti is removed quickly repeat offenses in the same location are unlikely since there is an increased risk of being caught.
Because of this, some cities have set for themselves a goal of same-day removal. This kind of quick response is effective and heartens residents, but it can be a difficult goal to meet. At Comcate we offer cities a graffiti abatement solution that leads to faster response times. The software helps officers quickly distinguish similarities and characteristics and the mapping feature helps incidences to be quickly located and then aids in scheduling follow-up inspections.
Graffiti abatement software is a cost-effective way for government to become more responsive and show itself as a valuable community partner. Contact us and let us help you improve your service and meet your goals.