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Graffiti is Vandalism

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Many writers look at graffiti as their voice, a way of asserting identity and power. They see tagging as a way for them to make a name for themselves. Although many of these writers are extremely talented and spend a lot of time on their pieces, I believe that graffiti is vandalism. Since the inception of graffiti, the government has made incredible efforts to enforce graffiti laws. Each day, the problem of graffiti increases in cities nationwide.
It is relatively cheap for taggers to leave their mark on a wall but it has cost taxpayers $17 billion dollars to remove the graffiti. Graffiti can affect the communities confidence and reduce property values. Many angry store owners, who are stuck with the expensive clean-up are complaining about the vandalism and the lack of respect for private property. Bill Edelblut says, "When my truck got hit, I got hot under the collar! I can't drive up to somebody's home to do a $20- or $30-a-head catering job with graffiti all over the truck."
The government has tried to throw large fines at the vandals in hopes of reducing graffiti. I believe that these fines just give the vandals another reason to tag on another wall. Part of the adventure of being a tagger is the chance of getting caught. I guess it's like a form of entertainment for these writers to scribble on walls, street signs, billboards, or whatever else they can reach with their spray can.
Many cities have started graffiti abatement programs like PACE, which is the LAPD's Police-Assisted Community Enhancement Program. Some argue that law enforcement shouldn't deal with graffiti. They believe that community service organizations or private enterprises should handle the problem. However, there are a few good reasons why law enforcement should work hand-in-hand with the community to remove graffiti. One reason is the danger involved with removing gang related graffiti in some areas. There have been several drive-by shootings reported in the Los Angeles area, when community servants tried to remove the graffiti. The Graffiti Abatement and Investigation Program allows juvenile defenders, who are "at risk" to becoming criminals, to have a second chance. Although this program works, it may not be for every youth. I've met some really stubborn kids who won't change no matter how many chances they get.

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