Civilians, cops tag-team vs. graffiti

BTCA Graffiti Busters

BTCA Graffiti Busters

Queens has made major strides in the war on vandalism.

Graffiti complaints dropped dramatically across the borough in 2008 — including a 20% decline in Queens’ northern precincts — even as citywide totals jumped more than 10%, according to preliminary NYPD stats.

The number of graffiti complaints includes calls from the public to report vandalism to the NYPD, as well as all graffiti-related criminal charges the NYPD files against suspects after they’re arrested.

In addition, cops collared 214 fewer taggers in Queens than they had in 2007 — a 23.1% drop that contrasted with a 10% leap citywide in graffiti arrests, NYPD records show.

Skeptics warn the numbers may indicate only a lack of vigilance in reporting graffiti and catching offenders — not a true dip in the colorful crimes — but others view them as a major accomplishment.

In 2008, the 109th Precinct reported 182 graffiti complaints which resulted in 55 arrests. During that same period, the 111th Precinct received 117 graffiti reports which resulted 27 arrests.

BTCA’s Graffiti Busters can often be seen removing grafitti, stickers, illegal postings and other forms of vandalism in Bay Terrace. Any one of their regularly schedluled clean-ups will often result in the removal of 30-50 tags and markings. All of these volunteer community groups should be applauded for their efforts.

For more on this story……….

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