Only Way To Stop Graffiti Is Punishment, Restoration



Regarding the letter "Graffiti is a cancer" recently published in the Payson Roundup, I couldn't agree more.

The problem with their solution of painting over the "tag" immediately serves only to supply the tagger with a clean easel to improve his technique and style.

I spent the last five years of my time in California doing just that, painting over graffiti, and I can and will testify that it does not work.

Now, I will tell you what will work -- if the tagger will spend ten hours picking up trash along the streets of Payson for every "tag," and also, if his parents or guardians will pay to have every single incident of tagging put back in the condition it was before the tagging took place.

The expense of the paint and the use of a licensed painter to correct these conditions will be borne by the parents who made the decision to have children and not monitor their behavior. The owners of tagged property did nothing to provoke this obnoxious, rebellious behavior and should not have to raise one finger to have their property restored.

Enough with pampering juveniles who use their spare time to steal our peace of mind, destroy what we have worked for, and laugh at law enforcements attempt to stop them.

The county is responsible for prosecuting juveniles, and we citizens should be outraged when juveniles aren't made to take responsibility for their actions in fear that their fragile egos may suffer.

I would suggest (strongly recommend) that we follow this tagger's case very closely to see what happens to him and what is done about restoring all the property he has desecrated.

I am sure that the other taggers in town will be watching and only swift, severe punishment and mandatory, restorative measures to damaged property will stop this "cancer."

This same treatment with any type of property damaging actions will stop the practice quickly, especially with the offending juvenile's parents having to write a check to pay the fines and damages incurred.

Who knows? These steps alone might save enough tax money to pave a few miles of city streets.

When juveniles are made to make restitution for their transgressions, they have time to think while they can be performing worthwhile, constructive, helpful projects. Many, many neighborhoods could use clean-up efforts due to aged or infirm residents. These homes could have the yards cleaned and made more fire safe, fences repaired and walls painted -- all jobs a juvenile would be the better for doing. In the process, perhaps some might even learn compassion and a better understanding of the world around them.

Committing crimes and not receiving punishment is the same as commending them for doing evil.

Dick Maloney, Payson

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