Fighting Graffiti: Finding and Punishing Vandals
The best way to deal with graffiti is to keep it from happening in the first place. The City is working on several fronts, including:
- Educating students at Berkeley middle and high schools about the importance of a clean and safe city and the penalties for vandalism;
- Posting warning signs and doing surveillance in hard-hit areas;
- Joining with the arts community and schools to develop community-based youth arts programs.
Consequences: Anyone convicted of “tagging” faces misdemeanor charges and may go to prison or face fines, depending on the extent of the property damage. For example, $400 worth of property damage could get you a $1000 fine; if damages are more than $10,000, you could get a fine of up to $50,000 and go to prison.
If someone less than 18 years old is found to have spray paint or etching creams, they may also be ordered to do 100-300 hours of community service.