Last week, Atlanta police announced that they had arrested a DeKalb County man who they say tagged his moniker more than 35 times in neighborhoods stretching from Castleberry Hill to Kirkwood.
The 19-year-old was taken into custody on charges of criminal damage to property 2nd degree, and three counts of criminal trespassing.
Some comments on the story questioned why authorities were wasting time on such offenses when there are more violent and serious criminal offenders running loose on the streets.
Others expressed gratitude in knowing “graffiti artists” were being targeted. As one Patch user remarked, “Graffiti is a crime, period. It's also a means in which gangs mark their territory. You can't be selective in enforcing the law, and this is a serious problem. You wouldn't like someone spray painting your house any more than someone stealing your property...both cost money to fix.”
Another property owner commented, “There isn't anything cute or harmless about this type of vandalism. It's a blight on the neighborhood and drives down property values.”
Graffiti does come at a price. In 1990, the National Graffiti Information Network survey estimated graffiti costs $8 billion annually in the United States. By the late 1990s, it was $15 billion a year. Five years ago at the NoGraf Network Conference, the annual cost of graffiti was estimated to be $25 billion a year in the U.S.
many residents will tell you that they readily accept the colorful works of
expression as street-art to be enjoyed by all.
But really, where does the graffiti end and the street-art begin? Where do you stand on this issue?