Deviance – Graffiti & Vandalism
Graffiti is one of the most visible forms of crime, defacing both public and private property. It costs the community around $200 million each year and has emerged as a key priority in crime prevention for Australian states and territories. Since the founding of the Australian Institute of Criminology in 1973, Institute staff have been engaged in research on matters of public policy that include policies on Graffiti and Graffiti prevention. Graffitists are mainly young adolescents and include both girls and boys, although boys predominate. They come from a wide range of social groupings and areas. Many are self-organised into loose groups of gangs, some of which are geographically based, and all appear to travel widely and often over considerable time and distance, to gain access to trains or other suitable sites for their graffiti. While some graffitists engage in vandalism most confine their activities to illegal drawings and figures. Vandals are typically male aged between 13 and 17, generally originate from poorer geographical areas of the city, have relatively low levels of education and belong to large families. Vandals are not confined to the psychologically disturbed or socially inadequate. Studies of vandals indicate that they are more likely to offend in groups than other juvenile delinquents and that the majority break other laws as well as engaging in vandalism. In 2011/2012 there were 265,472 offences against property, an increase of 4.7% compared with 2010/2011. Crime against property has increased as a rate per 100,000 population by 3.3%. In 2011/2012, there were 49,027 offences of property damage recorded by Victoria Police, a decrease of 1.8% compared to 2010/2011. Property damage offences arising from family incidents increased by 37.9%, while those not arising from family incidents decreased by 0.8%. Property damage offences arising from family incidents make up 9.2% of all property damage offences. “The offence...
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