The impact of graffiti in Melbourne’s security.
It is difficult to estimate damaging costs due to graffiti use and graffiti removal in Melbourne. However, federal and state costs, local government and private owners are considerable. Estimated cost due to gang-made damages in Australia including but not limited to graffiti is about $1.5 billion annual Australian dollars, so this is a conservative figure because such value is based on damaging official reports, although not all gang-made damages are reported to the police clearly. This figure neither considers graffiti’s social costs in Melbourne particularly nor the perception’s impact about security in public spaces. Therefore, we can notice that graffiti total cost and impac is much higher.
There are many factors where graffiti is a highly concerned problem to the community:
1) Graffiti attacks in Melbourne are considered as unpleasant things and they are seen as a menace to the life quality and community’s security.
2) Graffiti in Melbourne is one of the most evident criminal and disturbance forms happened there, because they symbolise a lack of order symptom, deterioration and antisocial behaviour among teenagers.
3) Not only does graffiti have impact in entire communities but also in affected private properties.
4) Graffiti has potential to impact negatively on both business profitability and private investment within severely affected zones due to graffiti.
5) Graffiti is related to (correctly or incorrectly) other criminal activities and criminality level increase among gangs.
6) Related cost in order to remove graffiti in Melbourne is expensive, either direct or indirect costs to remove graffiti through insurances or taxes.
When graffiti remains, it contributes to have fear and insecurity within a community since these attacks give the impression that public spaces and private property are not respected. Graffiti’s perception as vandalism and its impact in security are based on graffiti attacks and other more severe kinds of crime. Worries about out-of-control crimes are attributed to graffiti’s existence within a community, and graffiti´s presence is considered as a general indicator of a decline in life quality and public spaces.
According to a National survey about community’s satisfaction in 2008, 85% of the survey respondents considered graffiti in Melbourne and other kinds of vandalism as a higher trouble.
Perception about graffiti is so different according to the attack location, either inside metropolitan area, regional zones or distant zones. Graffiti’s perception is inversely proportional to the population size, while small communities within country’s central zones are more likely to experience worry and anxiety higher rates about crime levels within their community.
Graffiti is one of the most notable kinds of crime that may occur within a community. Other problems related to graffiti include:
-Public disturbance and antisocial behaviours.
-Material theft in order to make graffiti attacks including spray cans and markers.
– Gang-related activities
-Property shattering such as windows or train and bus seats.
The graffiti and other crimes relationship might have influence in adult opinions about teenagers’ behaviour within their community.
It is difficult to get reliable figures about graffiti’s presence because most of the damages caused to property are not reported to the police. For instance, it has been analyzed that the graffiti reports number in Melbourne has increased, but this figure does not determine if the increase represents a real growth of graffiti in Melbourne or it only shows a report increase. There are many reasons so as to not report criminal activities, but attempts in order to understand why people do not report graffiti in Melbourne are almost lacking.
Research points to the lack of reporting is one of the reasons by police agencies do not understand graffiti’s nature in Melbourne. We must add the fact that many attackers have not been identified or submitted at least before authorities so as to legally prosecute them. Graffiti makers change their location and methods constantly in order to avoid apprehension. What do you think? How would you deal with this problem?