It seems the Citywide Vandals Task Force has updated their web site since I last checked in on it. I’m not sure how long this reward system has been in place, but it is highly disturbing.
“The NYPD has reinvigorated its reward program funded by the Police Foundation. Rewards of up to $500 will be given out to anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of graffiti vandals. Calls can be made to 911 for acts of graffiti vandalism that are in progress, or 311 in all other instances.”
Elsewhere on the NYPD site they explain that “information leading to the arrest and indictment of a perpetrator of a violent felony crime is eligible for cash rewards of up to $1,000”. So from this I deduce that Graffiti is exactly half as bad as murder and rape.
I pasted some other choice quotes from the site below:
“Apparently there are some who look on graffiti as a type of avant-garde art, which has a place as an expression of social worth. But that view is not only puerile, it is misguided as well.”
“Because graffiti and vandalism extend the appearance of disorder, it invites other criminal activity by sending the message that a neighborhood is beyond the control of the law.”
“Graffiti-adorned trains and tunnels, buildings, blocks and cars, communicated a message of chaos to New Yorkers and tourists alike. Whether or not the statistics supported these assumptions was irrelevant, because the mere impression of disorder was enough.”
““Vandals are not interested in artistic expression, or social commentary, all they care about is getting their “ups” all over the city,” continued Lt. Mona.”
“Further, with men such as De La Vega (a well know graffiti vandal) publicly decrying the crackdown on graffiti, and anti-establishment fad folk touting graffiti as an art form, it has become a cause celeb.”