Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cleveland graffiti crackdown heats up

CLEVELAND - A bill introduced at Monday's Cleveland City Council meeting would make penalties mandatory for graffiti vandalism. "Until we get really serious about this issue, it's not going to stop," Councilwoman Dona Brady said.

Brady's bill gives graffiti vandals a mandatory six months in jail or $1,000 fine. State law currently provides for up to six months in jail or up to a $1,000 fine. City law cannot supersede state law, so Brady wants to make sure the vandals get the maximum.

"It's just like the broken window theory," she said. "If you have a broken window and you don't do anything about it, people think it's okay to break windows."

The legislation is the latest weapon fired in Brady's war on graffiti in Ward 17. Last week, neighborhood businessmen offered a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandals, who have struck more than 100 times in Ward 17 in the past six months.

Brady says the graffiti costs tens of thousands of dollars in clean up and deters businesses from coming to Cleveland.

Taken from: News Net 5

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