Sunday, June 8, 2008

NYPD cracking down on graffiti

Graffiti artists come to New York City from all over the world to leave their mark on subway cars, buildings and billboards. They will spend hours surveying and then spray-painting hard-to-reach spaces with remarkable precision.

The finished product may be impressive, but it's also illegal -- and constantly being monitored by a specialized New York Police Department graffiti unit.

NYPD Graffiti Arrests Up 28 Percent

The unit is sophisticated in its own right, keeping a database of offenders and holding weekly meetings to pore over graffiti crime stats.

Called the Citywide Vandals Task Force, the unit arrested 3,786 individuals last year, up from 2,962 in 2006. They have made several high-profile arrests this year, including one Tuesday, when a teen was accused of defacing a mural dedicated to Sept. 11 victims.

The 60 officers in the unit track and record the aliases used when writing graffiti, known as "tags." A searchable database has more than 8,000 entries, allowing the task force to track active writers and cross-reference their tags after an arrest to possibly add charges if a tag is found in more than one location.


Anonymous said...

Yea, sure, and we hear about all the collars, then we do not hear about all those released.

Again, there are headlines for the politicans, but the regular Joe in the street sees it getting worse.

The only way to crack down on grafitti is to go after the building owner. Its on the building, they get a 48 hour summons to remove it.

But it aint gonna happen? Why?

Because the plague of absentee landlords, which is the real reason we have grafitti problems, will not stand for it.

If they were forced to actually maintain their properties, there would a campaign donor revolt.

And we know what that means.

Anonymous said...

I hope that the NYPD shows equal zeal in their crack down on crack!
(I doubt it).

The "Vandal Squad" (ha, ha) is where the "dep't." dumps many of its unqualified "officers".

It's quietly called the "rubber gun unit" in law enforcement circles.

Anonymous said...

They should unload 50 shots into the bastards

Anonymous said...

i own a store on grand ave i have dealt with the vandal squad they are excellent when i called the unit after my building was tagged they knew the tag on both occasions bit never had proof of the actual person doin it luckily i have numerous night vision cameras and where able to provide a dvd of the act being commited both times led to comvictions. the video i provided led to the numerous convictions once the suspect was shown the video both times the suspects where from corona doin it like 430 in the morning. since there arrests never been tagged again guess he word got out that security is in place at my store

Rick said...

The Vandal Squad has arrested several taggers that have hit the Bellerose and Queens Village areas. It's a job a lot of them take very seriously, and I'm glad they do.

I really wish you would change your description of the degenerates from "artist" to "vandal," though.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they are doing an excellent job. This squad works very hard. I know this as a civilian activist who does her best to work with them.

I wish neighbors and store owners would be more active in fighting graffiti.

Pick up the phone if you observe it being done - 911 - it is a crime in progess.

Call 311 so the officers can take photos and put the tags in their database - needed for court.

Anonymous said...

It's the "Vandal Squad" themselves that are obviously posting their own "accolades" here.

C''re not fooling us!

I'd spray paint a vandal's ass lavender, pink and gold when they're finally caught, then kick their naked bodies out into the street in full view of their own "hood" for all to laugh at!

There's no need to shoot them.