Graffiti as Vandalism

Although I believe that graffiti art is beautiful in some aspects but it is still in the form of vandalism. Artists are commonly using private and public property as a way to show their work. This becomes costly for tax payers and business and property owners. If the artist has not got the consent of the property owner, it is known to the police as a form of vandalism.


The cost for cleanup in the U.S. has not been documented definitively, but it is safe to assume that it is in the billions of dollars. Large cities typically budget more money toward graffiti removal. In 2006 Chicago budgeted $6.5 million while Omaha, Neb. spends about $100,000 annually, according to
In addition to cleanup costs, graffiti vandals often shoplift their materials, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Stealing spray paint and markers adds an additional cost to businesses. Graffiti is a way that gangs can show they have made their mark on society. Gangs are typically within the working class, and they do not have the money to afford materials to make their mark. So they have no choice but to shop lift.



Gang-related crimes and violence are the crimes most commonly associated with graffiti. Public disorder crimes, such as littering and loitering and other forms of property destruction are sometimes related to graffiti crimes. Because most taggers are males between 15 and 23, there is the concern that tagging may be a “gateway crime,” and may lead young offenders to more serious or dangerous crimes such as truancy and drug and alcohol use.


Quality of Life

Vandalism is usually seen as a quality of life issue. When an area has extensive graffiti, people tend to view it as a “bad neighborhood.” Nearby property value may decrease and crime may increase. Plus, residents see graffiti as an eyesore. Graffiti that is gang-related or expresses hateful sentiments is most likely to be unwelcome in an area.