City officials saw a slight decrease in the number of tags reported in 2012, according to a city report issued Thursday.
Santa Clarita Graffiti Removal Task Force’s annual report recorded 6,280 tags removed from local neighborhoods for the 2012 calendar year, compared to 6,333 tags removed in 2011.
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The number of incidents come out to an average of about 17 reported incidents per day.
The city’s task force works in conjunction with the local Sheriff’s Station in addressing these incidents, according to Sheriff’s Station officials.
“We have a detective assigned to investigate graffiti,” said Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Deputy Josh Dubin, adding that the city supports these efforts by paying for the station’s COBRA team.
“The COBRA team is composed of seven detectives and a sergeant, and one of those detectives is assigned to handle graffiti incidents,” Dubin said. “And we have an extremely strong partnership with the city.”
Individuals caught “tagging,” or vandalizing with graffiti, face the following punishment, according to state law:
If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is $400 or more, vandalism is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 or in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or if the amount of defacement, damage or destruction is $10,000 or more, by a fine of not more than fifty thousand dollars $50,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is less than $400, vandalism is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
“The city has a zero tolerance policy for graffiti vandalism on public and private property, and the Graffiti Task Force continues to make significant strides in eliminating vandalism that disrupts the aesthetic appeal of our communities,” said Mayor Bob Kellar in a statement. “By educating youth and empowering residents to report graffiti, the city has helped reduce tags and enhanced awareness of vandalism consequences.”
Additional highlights from 2012 Graffiti Task Force report also reported the arrest of 111 suspected vandals, and 10 prolific taggers.
The task force also took part in a three-month beautification project for recently annexed residents in the Jakes Way area of Canyon Country.
This project alone saw the removal of more than 1,000 instances of graffiti vandalism and patchwork painting.
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