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A resurgence of graffiti has a number of Utah communities taking aggressive steps to get a handle on the problem. KSL applauds their efforts.
Zero tolerance should be society's response to the insidious practice of defacing public or private property. Those inclined to perpetrate the deed need to be reminded that graffiti vandalism is a crime that is punishable in a variety of ways.
Four teens in Delta, for example, are in detention for going on a graffiti spree. A new gang task force in Orem has arrested numerous so-called "taggers." And prosecutors in Ogden intend to seek civil damages from the parents of six juveniles who have repeatedly been caught doing graffiti.
Experts have long contended that swift action by law enforcement is a key to combating a community's graffiti problem. It is also vital that communities move quickly to clean up and remove graffiti as it surfaces, thus diminishing the impact of any message the writings might send. And anti-graffiti education, especially at the elementary school level plays an important role in the long-term effort to wipe out graffiti tagging.
The problem of graffiti seems to ebb and flow, and when it flows strong messages need to be sent that it will not be tolerated.