Dangers of Graffiti: Is it Vandalism or Art?

Samantha Salazar , Journalist

Graffiti is one of the most visible of all crimes of writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place. Some graffiti artists have been put to jail because of there action. Gang graffiti conveys threats and identifies turf boundaries. Graffiti vandalism significantly affects individuals and the community but the removal and prevention of graffiti vandalism is very costly to the community.

Tens of millions of tax payer dollars are being spent annually on cleaning up graffiti and repairing the damage that it causes. Spending this public money on cleaning graffiti means that money is not being spent on things that can benefit the people. Graffiti is seen as art to some people and vandalism to others.

However, graffiti is not just gang related, graffiti is also generally used by artists and political activities to express underlying social and political messages. The law on public property are very strict and anyone caught doing graffiti can be arrested and prosecuted under the critical damage which can affect the people who do it out of passion for being mistaken for vandalism.

A Canyon County man, Christan Pacheco, 25 years of age, was arrested for suspicion of felony vandalism in connection to incidents. Tagging 1,900 linked to Pacheco was found on sidewalks, walls, signs and buildings off major thoroughfares such as Sierra Highway. Pacheco, who is on active probation for multiple crimes, was arrested and booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Freshman Alexa Hernandez had this to say about how she felt about if its good for people to do graffiti as a form of expression. “When you’re driving, you’ll see graffiti on buildings and you can see the way they feel and what they go through.”

Freshman Emilia Yuja added, “It is good because people get to express themselves by putting a message out there and you get to remember there are problems in the world around you.”