Tagging has gotten out of control in the Grant Street neighborhood. Nary a wall has been left unmarred in this latest wave of vandalism. It seems as if every time a store/building owner paints over a tag, another one replaces it. We’re not talking about small tags either. The ones we’re seeing are significant. It’s time to put a stop to it.
But how do you do that? Yes, The City has a graffiti task force that handles tagging. Unfortunately this is a seemingly never ending battle between the clean up crews and the talentless taggers. After all, this isn’t even close to legit graffiti. All it takes to tag is buying a can of spray paint from a willing shop owner. There are laws in place against selling the cans of paint to minors, carrying aerosol cans, and of course the act of tagging itself.
There are currently serious repercussions that tagging vandals face when they are caught, but if they don’t get caught, then the rest of us lose big time. Maybe it’s time to up the ante when it comes to the penalties? Then, make it enticing for snitches to blow in their tagging comrades. If someone snitches, and the information leads to an arrest and conviction, then that person gets a chunk of money. In the end, that money would come back ten fold due to the amount of money the vandalism causes.
There has got to be more ways to combat this scourge that is currently giving Grant Street a black eye. As long as I can remember, I have not seen it this bad.
It would be great to see the Regional Anti Graffiti Task Force Facebook page more active, with people contributing information that would help to keep the taggers at bay. One way or another, something’s gotta give. The taggers are aware that they will face hundreds of hours of community service (cleaning graffiti) if they are caught, along with the possibility of civil lawsuits from building owners, according to the Buffalo News. Convicted taggers could also have their wages garnished and their cars confiscated. The higher the penalty, the less tagging we will see. Ultimately it will be those who know the taggers that would provide the most efficient ways to bust them. They just need to be financially incentivized to do so.