by Yair Frid, August 2, 2013
We are the graffiti removal experts, and in this section we will talk about graffiti taggers and vandalism.
The cost of the graffiti removal and vandalism in Melbourne is high. Not only in dollars, but also because of the danger it represents, the fear that it causes among the elderly and vulnerable people, loss of services, and that generally lowers the quality of life in our community.
According to Victoria Police, there are at least 140 graffiti gangs operating in the state, with at least 800 graffiti taggers who are registered in the system. However, the actual figure may be between 300 graffiti gangs and 3500 youths between 12 and 18 years involved in graffiti in and around Melbourne. According to police, in 2 nights of this year, a gang of nine graffitists caused damages of $182,000.
There is another cost, the human cost. In different parts of Australia, many graffitists are injured every year, they have even died as it happened in Sydney on June 23 this year when Tre Toman was struck by a train while doing graffiti.
Some graffitists steal their spray paint, so some businesses are affected. When schools are attacked by graffiti or other vandalism, students are affected. When public telephones are attacked and put out of order, those who have no phone -usually vulnerable community members- are left even more vulnerable, especially in emergencies.
Vandalism is unacceptable on every level. It looks bad, it costs money, and it reduces the quality of life for the affected people, and scares those that are vulnerable to crime.
Graffiti is not so simple. Although it may be ugly, expensive to remove, and dangerous for practitioners, it has some benefits for some people; it can look better than what it covers, some phrases are funny, and some members of the community see graffiti as art. The politically motivated graffiti is done by graffiti artists who think they are fulfilling an important social function. What are your thoughts?