SF takes aim at graffiti vandals, tries to lessen burden on victims
Posted by Joshua Sabatini on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 7:29 PM
Supervisor London Breed has introduced legislation targeting graffiti vandals; police made 203 graffiti-related arrests in 2013, most of them adults.
San Francisco’s $20-million-a-year graffiti problem has seemingly caused more problems for victimized property owners and public agencies than for the vandals.
But now the City Attorney’s Office could be allowed to go after graffiti vandals in civil proceedings that would force them to pay for the damage and perform community service.
Supervisor London Breed and other city officials say the current process does not work and penalizes the victims, since property owners must remove graffiti within 30 days or face fines.
“We estimate that over 90 percent of the graffiti offenses are committed by the same people,” Breed said Tuesday, when she also introduced legislation to address the issue. “The criminal courts have proven an inappropriate medium for prosecuting such offenses.”
Additionally, Breed’s proposal has come with an agreement from city departments to provide more resources for the effort and collaborate. The Police Department, Breed said, “will have an additional crime analyst and a police officer on an as-needed basis so that they can develop these particular cases.”