Graffiti is one of the most prevalent social interaction problems in the United States today. It is a form of vandalism and a crime. Some people consider graffiti as an art. However, art is done with the property owner’s permission. Graffiti is a complex social interaction problem that costs a lot of money in cleaning and damages private and public property.
If graffiti writing is allowed to continue, it will encourage more vandalism and disorder and this will lead to more serious crimes such as homicide, assaults, burglary, rape, and vehicle theft. Graffiti is considered a crime and anyone found guilty is prosecuted (Arrington 67).
People write graffiti for various reasons. Some people use it as an expression of art. However, graffiti is vandalism and requires the authorization of the property owner. Others use graffiti for tagging. The writer draws or writes a representation of their names in order to get attention.
Gang members also use graffiti to communicate with each other. They can use graffiti to mark their territory or promote their illegal activities like selling drugs. Others write graffiti to communicate their opinions about other people. Most of these remarks are directed to a particular individual or organization and can either be insulting or giving praise to that person. Some people see graffiti as the only way to convey their feelings and express themselves (Rahn 204).
Graffiti has several negative impacts on the community’s environmental, social, and economic sectors. People have negative perceptions about the safety of neighborhoods with a lot of graffiti and therefore it lessens the community’s social interaction. Moreover, graffiti reduces the value of properties and costs the citizens a lot of money in cleaning it up. Graffiti also impacts negatively on businesses and tourism.
People are reluctant to go to places where there is a lot of graffiti as they do not feel safe. Graffiti destroys property including historical monuments. Graffiti can also compromise the safety of road users when written on traffic signs, thus blocking out the message. Some surfaces absorb the paint used to write graffiti and therefore become permanently damaged. Others can get damaged during the cleaning process (Arrington 67).
Fighting graffiti can only be successful if the entire community is engaged. Citizens can help reduce the problem of graffiti by reporting the cases they witness to the police so that the perpetrators can be prosecuted. Graffiti can also be prevented by lighting up streets and installing surveillance cameras to scare away the perpetrators.
Parents can also help in identifying if their children are taggers because mostly they will have graffiti in their rooms, shoes, and other belongings. They also write graffiti on books. Possession of spray paint is also another sign. Before removing the graffiti, the citizens are advised to take photos so that the law enforcement agencies can be able to charge for the crime.
Citizens are advised to remove the graffiti after reporting in order to prevent the paint from getting absorbed completely destroying the surface. Removing the graffiti will also discourage the perpetrators. People should not post graffiti in places like social websites because the taggers will get the attention that they wanted, and will be motivated to continue committing the crime (Arrington 68)
Arrington, Rick. Crime Prevention: The Law Enforcement Officer’s Practical Guide. USA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2006. Print
Rahn, Janice. Painting without Permission: Hip-Hop Graffiti Subculture. USA: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002. Print