No walls

What is the best deterrent for graffiti?

To understand the deterrent effect, you must first understand why individuals  spray paint on walls, or whatever else is available. Most graffiti vandalism is done by “taggers” who are most likely damaging your property for very selfish reasons. (The term “tagger” is a slang term used for a graffiti vandal.)
Taggers seek recognition among their peers. Taggers will usually assume a name or moniker which they will practice writing, over and over again in notebooks, on school books or on private or public property. They practice it to make it look unique, as they not only assume a moniker, but also a unique, obscure way of writing it. This unique “signature” takes practice. “PARENTS NOTE: If you see some strange letters or writing on your children’s books, notebooks or in their room, they could be a graffiti vandal. So take note of it and ask your child what it means.” ** When the tag name is perfected on paper, they put it up so everyone can see-AKA: graffiti vandalism. What they are doing, is advertising to their peers, “This is me, look what I did”. When they put up a tag, it is normally put up in a conspicuous place where the tag will certainly be seen by their peers. Not surprisingly, we have found the most damaged areas in our municipalities to be near schools, commercial shopping precincts and train stations.


Legal murals/sites – does this work ?

Graffiti artists or artists, are permitted or funded (hence the term “legal”) to work with young people to paint murals on public sites/walls. It is argued that the aim is to deter graffitists from offending, or deter graffitists from repeatedly targeting specific sites. There is little evidence to suggest that this will assist in reducing graffiti other than at the immediate location, and even then, there are examples where the site continues to be targeted. It needs to be remembered to achieve peer recognition and status, the graffitist needs to tag on numerous locations. Obviously, as graffiti is about exposure, risk taking, and marking territory, free walls will not work, and are advocated through a lack of understanding of graffiti vandalism.

What are the features of  gang graffiti?

More territorial
• Seen more around turf areas
• Notoriety driven, intimidation
• Brag about/announce a crime
• To challenge/disrespect
• Threats (187 SMF)

What are the features of  tagging (tagging crews)

Usually social gangs
• Less violent
• Engage in contests
• Perceived as “artwork”
• Uses same network as street gangs

Banning aerosol paints – does it work?

Banning of aerosol paints is frequently topical and very controversial. It is an attempt to remove the vandal’s primary tool. The effectiveness of this method can be debated. In general, the vandal will go wherever he or she needs to get their paints or markers including mail order, the internet, and especially petty theft or burglary. Felt tipped markers are also utilised, and glass etched as alternatives to spray paint.Have we really reached a point where we must inconvenience the law abiding resident because we are not able to control the distribution of paints at the point of sale? We should be encouraging business to lock up paints and supplies. It needs to be recognised that part of graffiti culture is to steal the paint, so lets put a stop to theft, and lock it up.

What should you do if your property is graffitied?

Report the damage to the police. This assists them to develop profiles on where and when graffiti occurs. Take a photo of the graffiti before you clean it off and record the date, time and location. This will assist police in court if they apprehend the offender. You should also contact police if you see graffiti that is offensive or uses racist language, if there is an obvious “trail” of the same tag along the street, if you see an offence happening or, if you know or suspect someone who is doing graffiti. Call the local graffiti hotline number 0420 969 650.

What is the difference between art and vandalism?

Permission!Graffiti is usually done by a tagging crew or an individual. Many perceive this as a form of art work or social expression. It is usually very well done and vandals sign their work with some sort of nick name. The colours are bright and “painters” use different tip sizes and types to achieve the desired effects. It should be made clear however that it is most often done without the property owner’s permission or appreciation. Cost of removal can be very expensive.Graffitists are usually caught because they are very proud of their work and they sign their piece. They call this throwing up a mural. Styles are very distinguishable and work is soon identified back to the “painter”.Another form of tagging is called Gang Graffiti and is done for an entirely different purpose. Gang graffiti is usually done to mark territorial turf. It often displays the

local gangs’ name as a warning to other gangs to stay away. Sometimes tagging will take the form of a challenge to other gangs to show disrespect to them and make threats against their members. As an example; 187 SMF would mean that someone has threatened a rival crew with the street name SMF.

Graffiti is also used by gangs to brag about crimes they have committed or intend to commit. This type of graffiti is more territorial and therefore has the potential of being dangerous. Gang members will often use marking pens on personal items to identify themselves as well as spray paint on larger items. They are not as concerned with style as they are with making a statement. Gang graffiti often is done in a cryptic or Old English style and is always printed.

What if you see graffiti on public or commercial property?

Report any graffiti on public property to your council and ask for it to be removed as soon as possible. Public property includes, for example, fence lines around our parks and pre-schools. If the property belongs to another authority such as Telstra, Energy or Australia Post, ask your council to pass on the information, or ring the relevant authority and ask for their assistance in removing and cleaning the graffiti.Crime Stoppers
1800 333 000

What about  social apathy ?

Apathy, is seeing graffiti and not reporting it. If you don’t make the call, then who will? It has been shown that graffiti that is left up  attracts more graffiti. More importantly, graffiti left up sends a message that a community doesn’t care.

 What is gang communication and graffiti?

Street gangs communicate through their actions, language, clothes, hand signs, graffiti and tattoos. Unlike the gangs associated with organised crime which prefer anonymity, street gangs need and seek recognition. They want recognition not only from their community, but also from rival gangs. The gang’s image and reputation depend on this recognition, and it is critically important to its members because such visibility enhances the reputation of the gang members.Inscriptions in the form of graffiti can be found in every large city in Australia, and throughout our suburbs. Graffiti is an important part of gang tradition. It is not just graffiti – it proclaims to the world the status of the gang and offers a challenge to rivals. By studying the graffiti itself, certain basic elements are found. For example, the main body of the writing will usually contain the gang’s name or logo. Also, close by will be the nickname or street name of the author of the inscription. Frequently, assertions of the gang’s strength or power will also be included.
Valuable information relative to police work may be gained from gang graffiti.For instance, police may be able to determine what gang is in control of a specific area by noting the frequency of the unchallenged graffiti on a wall. When writing is left unchanged, it reaffirms the gang’s control. Normally, the closer one moves to the centre of a gang’s area, the more unchallenged graffiti can be found. Conversely, as one moves away from the centre or core area of a gang’s power and territory, the more rival graffiti and cross-outs are observed. Thus, if one gang had its graffiti on a building crossed out by another gang’s graffiti marked nearby, it would indicate a contested location. A cross-out is a type of asterisk that covers a rival’s graffiti and, in gang jargon, is often referred to as “dogging”.Contested areas are common, and when both gangs arrive at the same place at the same time, a confrontation often occurs. These have resulted when gang members were caught desecrating a rival’s territory with their own graffiti. Serious injuries have resulted when gang members were caught desecrating a rival’s territory with their own graffiti.

How can I get involved?

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