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City's efforts gag graffiti growth

January 27, 2009
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BRONX, NY — With concerns about graffiti reaching nearly 2,000 complaints a year, the Bronx has reacted with a two-pronged approach: Clean the unsightly tags and hold violators accountable, according to the Daily News.
There were nearly 900 arrests last year in vandalism cases involving graffiti, the majority of which ended in the forced cleanup and repainting of the tagged areas, the story stated.
Through grants, several Precincts have been able to purchase power washers to clean graffiti; volunteers and those sentenced to community service perform the cleaning, the story noted.
Bruce Pinkney, who runs CityServe, a graffiti removal company that has contracts across the city, said: "There definitely has been a trend in more graffiti in the last six months, mostly in vandals writing their tags. Most of the stuff is hip-hop graffiti and some gang graffiti, particularly up in Wakefield. But the one good thing is that people are becoming more aware of graffiti as an issue. Since graffiti became a CompStat number, the interest among police has increased dramatically, because now there’s accountability.”
A number of elected officials have secured city and state funding to hire commercial graffiti cleaning services to respond with free cleaning when residents or merchants request it, the story added.
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