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Graffiti Is A Crime! – QNS.com

Graffiti Is A Crime!

The problem of graffiti in Queens cannot be tolerated any longer.
It is a growing, disgusting plague on the borough. It is an omnipresent part of the landscape. Our commercial buildings are covered with it, our private fences are ruined by it, our homes are marred, and our mailboxes, light poles, fire hydrants and street signs have all been victimized by this blight.
Along our highways and byways, the vandals have scrawled their “tags” on the embankments thereby making our unattractive concrete and blacktop roads even uglier than they have to be. The graffitists have obscured exit signs, stop signs, billboards, overpasses, underpasses. This must end.
Graffiti can even kill!
As previously reported in The Queens Courier, 13-year-old Ari Kraft died after he was struck and killed by an eastbound Long Island Rail Road train. He had climbed onto the elevated railroad tracks near the Forest Hills station on January 5, above 63rd Drive between Austin and Alderton Streets, to spray paint his street tag, “Kos” on the signal boxes there.
We know that graffiti is often a harbinger of gang activity in our neighborhoods. It is not to be construed as “art.” It is vandalism. It is a crime.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown has committed to prosecuting graffitists fully - including pushing for jail time for the guilty. We applauded his office when the infamous “KIKO,” whose real name is Oliver Siandre, was prosecuted and sentenced to six months in jail, five years of probation and ordered to pay monetary restitution of $25,000.
We congratulate the New York Police Department and Assistant Chief James Tuller, Commanding Officer, Patrol Borough Queens North who in January changed the department’s response to graffiti from reactive to proactive. Now every precinct under Chief Tuller’s command has an official graffiti officer.
These graffiti officers will try to identify the numbers and tags in a neighborhood and try to catch those responsible before they can vandalize any more property.
If your commercial property has been “tagged,” call the police and report it and then call 3-1-1 or your local precinct for information about the Mayor’s City Graffiti Removal Program. The program requires a signed waiver which allows the Mayor’s office to initiate a clean up.
Fighting this scourge is a huge job and the public must help the police and themselves. Report all graffiti crimes to the police by calling 3-1-1 or even 9-1-1 if you see someone in the act of graffiti. Be sure to give the police as accurate a description as possible. Turn them in - do not turn your backs.
You can make the difference and by working together, we can reclaim our city from these lowlifes. Organize a graffiti cleanup group through your local civic association or join the group that is already in place in your local precinct. Get involved!

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