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Should you ever have to pay for vandalism?


Vandalism question  

32 members have voted

  1. 1. Should you pay a fine for having graffiti on your walls?

    • Yes
      13
    • No
      19


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The City has a proposal coming up that would put more of the impetus of graffiti removal on slow acting property owners, including large fines for inactivity following city citations.

From the Chronicle...

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3967444.html

I wish the city could fine the rail road companies, too. Their seemingly ambivalent attitude towards maintaining the appearances of their rail overpasses is pretty bold.

Edited by The Great Hizzy!
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http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3967444.html

There may be a new ordinance in effect where if someone graffiti's your property, you have 30 days to clean it up, or you would pay a $500 fine. The reason seems to be to keep Houston looking clean.

Since there are many home owners here on HAIF, I was curious where you stand on the issue. Do you consider it fair or not?

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If you own the property, I think the court should make the punishment of those caught tagging, thats the ones who commit the crime of vandalism, have to repaint your walls as a community service. No fines imposed on the victims, that is ridiculous.

Edited by TJones
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If you own the property, I think the court should make the punishment of those caught tagging, thats the ones who commit the crime of vandalism, have to repaint your walls as a community service. No fines imposed on the victims, that is ridiculous.

For the record, the two council-members who are pushing for the ordinance are Adrian Garcia and Sue Lovell. Do you think it will actually pass in city council?

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Note merged two open topics.

This is the "broken windows" policing theory. The idea is that if vandalism is left unchecked, that it creates an impression of lawlessness that is likely to lead to more vandalism. Therefore the effects of vandalism have to be cleaned up rapidly. It is famous for contributing to the big clean-up in New York during the 1990s. It seems unfair to punish the victims of vandalism by fining them, but without the motivation they may not be likely to do anything, so this makes some sense.

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t seems unfair to punish the victims of vandalism by fining them, but without the motivation they may not be likely to do anything, so this makes some sense.

or maybe this will cause people to delicate flower to the city for more govt/police action... which will justify a tax increase to pay for more officers...

if i were running the place, i'd set up a number that people could call when they've been vandalized, and i'd have some juvenile detention or county jail 'residents' go out and clean it up... in most cases, a good powerwashing does the trick.

and, of course, if someone is CAUGHT in the act of vandalism, they are put on the vandalism clean up crew as part of their probation - for a long time - and they are required to clean up one vandalized site per week.

i'd have more people cleaning up than there are vandals.

the budget is already there, i'm pretty sure.

but i don't run anything but my mouth... for now.

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or maybe this will cause people to delicate flower to the city for more govt/police action... which will justify a tax increase to pay for more officers...

if i were running the place, i'd set up a number that people could call when they've been vandalized, and i'd have some juvenile detention or county jail 'residents' go out and clean it up... in most cases, a good powerwashing does the trick.

and, of course, if someone is CAUGHT in the act of vandalism, they are put on the vandalism clean up crew as part of their probation - for a long time - and they are required to clean up one vandalized site per week.

i'd have more people cleaning up than there are vandals.

the budget is already there, i'm pretty sure.

but i don't run anything but my mouth... for now.

i totally agree.

i have complained on HAIF numerous times on how i feel about graffiti

on personal property, so i'll spare you.

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If you own the property, I think the court should make the punishment of those caught tagging, thats the ones who commit the crime of vandalism, have to repaint your walls as a community service. No fines imposed on the victims, that is ridiculous.

They usually don't catch the taggers but when they do they need to really load them up with community service time so they can clean up the grafitti.

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They usually don't catch the taggers but when they do they need to really load them up with community service time so they can clean up the grafitti.

Why couldn't we just have former convicted vandals pay the fines instead of property owners? Maybe THAT would keep people from wanting to write their names, gang signs, phone numbers, social security numbers, or whatever they write on walls....

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Why couldn't we just have former convicted vandals pay the fines instead of property owners? Maybe THAT would keep people from wanting to write their names, gang signs, phone numbers, social security numbers, or whatever they write on walls....

about 2 weeks ago someone went down my street and tagged their name somewhere

on every block's corner. i would list the name but since previous posters have mentioned

that tagging is about the amount of tags and damage caused by them, i won't.

anyhow, only 2 have been removed. i can see the city wanting to get rid of them because

step #2 is another fella coming along and retagging his name more times than that. riding

my bike around is see it frequently -- yet i still don't think the property owner should be fined.

i am surprised that the townhomes and apartments have not removed them yet as they are

a bit fancy. i think there should be a hotline you can call and for the city to come and

powerwash it off the side of the house, fence, etc. one city employee dispatched around

a shared area is cheaper than individual residents renting and using one for a 3x3ft tag.

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It seems somewhat wishful thinking that we could ever catch a sufficient number of vandals to rely on community service to remove graffiti, or that the problem can be fined away. Even if that could work, the city's first priority would have to be public property, not private property.

Ultimately it is the responsibility of the property owner to keep their property graffiti-free, and it needs to be enforced. Conceptually this is not much different than requirements that lot owners keep weeds trimmed. If your next door neighbor's house were tagged, chances are you would want to make sure they cleaned it up quickly.

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One would think being in the city, someone has to be up at any hour of the night, no one sees these people?

What about those weird masked things spray painted on those metal power line poles on the street that crosses Westhiemer neer the Agora Cafe?

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All I can say is our Mayor is behind this proposed change. Currently, property owners have 30 days to eradicate graffitti. Now the proposal is to change the limit to 10 days. I think most residents would make an attempt but to be so hostile about it is ridiculous. Let's see if the City will clean up all the graffitti on its property. Light poles, street signs, traffic light control boxes etc throughout Houston are littered with graffitti. Midtown and Hermann Park are also bombarded with graffitti.

The Mayor is basically trying to get his foot out of his mouth for saying that Houston should accept New Orleans refugees. NOW the resulting problems have made him look worse. Crime gone up, graffitti gone up, emergency calls going up, etc.

I wrote a letter to the Councilmembers and a couple replied and said that the Mayor is really pushing this proposal. In theory it is a good thing, however the City needs to be able to meet the same timeline that they are dictating on property owners. I"m going to speak before Council next week on this subject.

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It is famous for contributing to the big clean-up in New York during the 1990s. It seems unfair to punish the victims of vandalism by fining them, but without the motivation they may not be likely to do anything, so this makes some sense.
fining the owners who get their buildings tagged on a routine basis? WTF?! what a stupid idea!

as always, let's not hold the people who actually do ____ like this accountable...

I agree, it's the carrot and the stick method. People won't be motivated to remove the tags unless they have to, or they'll keep putting it off until "next weekend". The fact that the city will be providing paint for free should be something.

As soon as the offenders are caught, then they shold be made to either serve jail time or to do some severe community serious community service.

The Mayor is basically trying to get his foot out of his mouth for saying that Houston should accept New Orleans refugees. NOW the resulting problems have made him look worse. Crime gone up, graffitti gone up, emergency calls going up, etc.

I wrote a letter to the Councilmembers and a couple replied and said that the Mayor is really pushing this proposal. In theory it is a good thing, however the City needs to be able to meet the same timeline that they are dictating on property owners. I"m going to speak before Council next week on this subject.

Let's not beat up on White about the Katrina people unless you wish to give some other alternatives to the situation itself. Be glad he stepped up to the plate to begin with and that's all I'm going to say on the subject.

Someone mentioned to me on the street about some ordinance in Chicago is that it's illegal to sell Spray cans in the city limits or to own one. I can't quite recall. I'm sure someone can find out exactly what it is.

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It seems somewhat wishful thinking that we could ever catch a sufficient number of vandals to rely on community service to remove graffiti, or that the problem can be fined away.

like the fella who in one night, went down the street and tagged about two

dozen homes or so... each tag (just his name written with a wavy line around

it) probably took 30 seconds. what would keep the city from making only one

caught vandal pressurewash those off in some sort of program? it might not

be his tags but he would spend a good afternoon going to each person's home

and removing it --- wearing some sort of t-shirt stating "i spray paint other

people's things" and supervised by a city employee. wouldn't cost much would

it? it would be an embarrassing public deterrent.

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Someone mentioned to me on the street about some ordinance in Chicago is that it's illegal to sell Spray cans in the city limits or to own one. I can't quite recall. I'm sure someone can find out exactly what it is.

Any number of substances can do the same damage as spray paint so banning it might not be the most appropriate action.

Stores are already have a ban on selling it and other inhalants to the underaged.

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Any number of substances can do the same damage as spray paint so banning it might not be the most appropriate action.

Stores are already have a ban on selling it and other inhalants to the underaged.

Chicago does have that ordinance. From my observation, the graffiti in the areas I visit tends look like it's from bored 20-something's who aren't covered by the ordinance. The big annoyance has been bored art school -types who use etching acid to deface windows, but the transit authority has found ways to stop that.

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The Mayor is basically trying to get his foot out of his mouth for saying that Houston should accept New Orleans refugees. NOW the resulting problems have made him look worse. Crime gone up, graffitti gone up, emergency calls going up, etc.

You are amusing. I hope you do some research to back up your wild assertions, before you insert your own foot in your mouth in front of city council. I'd bet you will be stunned to find who most of the taggers are.

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Personally, i say no to this. But cities can't improve their appearance if residents leave grafiti and trash around their property. I think fining the residents who were victims of grafiti would be fair ONLY if the City gave a notice. The notice would explain that they have X amount of time to clean the grafitti and if its not done by a certain date, then they'll be fined. The city should also start doing that to residents who don't believe in cutting their grass.

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Chicago does have that ordinance. From my observation, the graffiti in the areas I visit tends look like it's from bored 20-something's who aren't covered by the ordinance. The big annoyance has been bored art school -types who use etching acid to deface windows, but the transit authority has found ways to stop that.

Not sure what transit authority you're talking about but the bus stop by my house has graffitti all over it. I occasionally ride the bus and at least 5 stops between my house and downtown have graffitti.

You are amusing. I hope you do some research to back up your wild assertions, before you insert your own foot in your mouth in front of city council. I'd bet you will be stunned to find who most of the taggers are.

I;m just going to speak on graffitti because a couple of the councilmembers suggested i do so. Wild assertions? The crime rate has increased since the refugees came here. I'm not saying ALL the crime is due to the refugees, however the trend began shortly after their arrival. I think it made others realize how easy is it to commit crimes. My neighbor is a jail officer and he can confirm a large number of NOLA residents now call Harris County Jail home.

Edited by musicman
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  • 5 months later...
The new graffitti ordinance went into effect today. property owners now have only 10 days to eliminate the graffitti.

I'm torn on this ordinance. I dislike the City's fining the non-responsible party to the crime but not removing graffiti within 10 days is pretty inexusable, unless you're an absentee owner.

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I agree wholeheartedly that the owners should remove graffiti or pay a fine. I think if it is your residence, you should have 10 days to remove it. If it is rental property, you should be allowed, say, a month from the time of notification.

I also feel junk in yards, especially inoperable autos, should be subject to fines regarding either removal, or at least being hidden from public view by a fence. Weeds on a property may already subject to legal action, and if not, should be.

Maybe you can

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There is a clause to this new ordinance; if the property owner feels burdened by the cost of cleaning the graffiti they can request the city do it for no charge. Naturally, the paint is unlikely to match going this route. But still, the property owner does not HAVE to pay to clean the graffiti or the fine upon receiving a citation. I think the city is giving out free paint as well if you want to do it yourself.

To me this seems fair. If the paint is the wrong color it doesn't really look any worse than having the graffiti tag there.

In an ideal world they would be able to catch the criminals responsible and have them take care of it, but its simply not practical. Our police can not catch the taggers in the act.

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I find this to truly be an injustice. Making the victims PAY for someone else's crime is just Ludicrous. If you get the taggers who get caught be the ones that have to PAY for someone else to professionally paint the building that the offense occurred on, I guarantee the rate of that crime will drop by HALF with 6 months.

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I'm torn on this ordinance. I dislike the City's fining the non-responsible party to the crime but not removing graffiti within 10 days is pretty inexusable, unless you're an absentee owner.

many of the city's properties have graffitti on them....we'll see if they magically get cleaned up.

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many of the city's properties have graffitti on them....we'll see if they magically get cleaned up.

I heard that, i like to see the city practice what it preaches.

Edited by Marty
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  • 1 month later...

Who determines what is and what is not graffiti? If someone paints a mural on his building, does he need to defend it against the graffiti police?

Rather than paying a fine, I'd be tempted to respond to the city by saying "I paid someone to paint that. It's art, dammit!"

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Who determines what is and what is not graffiti? If someone paints a mural on his building, does he need to defend it against the graffiti police?

Rather than paying a fine, I'd be tempted to respond to the city by saying "I paid someone to paint that. It's art, dammit!"

a houston artist phillip perez, i think was arrested earlier this week on this charge. he was the teacher of an art class.

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