Monday, November 21, 2005

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NYPD Uses Digi-Tech To Take Down Graffiti
Author: SoundSlam. Nov. 15, 2005 - New York, NY

Recent reports have declared that New York City Police have made 2,230+ arrests for graffiti in 2005. This number is a steep 93% increase to last year’s 1,154 arrests made through the same point in 2004. Naturally, authorities are taking stronger measures to curb or deter individuals from marking public property.

This stronger measure introduces the idea of using digital technology in this ever-increasing technologically driven world to defeat illegal campaigns. Roughly one year ago, 150 digital cameras were given to precincts to document and survey the graffiti that is seen as vandalism. These cameras will be used in conjunction with a new program, Graffistat, to record arrests and verbal complaints according to locale and precinct.

Apparently, roughly 700 graffiti artists have been entered into the system according to moniker, or graffiti name, and samples of their handstyle. Additionally, when new “tags” and “pieces” are discovered by police, the graffiti artists can, in theory, be arrested for vandalism.

Even more, NYPD policy on graffiti has been altered from only taking mugshots of those artists that have committed a felony to now taking pictures of every suspect and making these available to all city precincts. On top of this, a list of the top 100 graffiti artists have been compiled by and for the NYPD to denote those individuals that may be causing the most visual raucous. These changes clearly represent the new focus that graffiti will receive from the NYPD.

Lastly, an 80 officer deep Citywide Vandals Task Force has been created by the NYPD to catch and arrest graf writers. This plainclothes faction patrols the streets and subways in an effort to find and catch graffiti being applied live.

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