Thursday, September 30, 2010
I woke up this morning to find that someone has tagged my front wall.
We live in a quiet residential area of town and what graffiti that can be found is usually in the alleyways or down by the shops. I'm pissed off basically.
We'll email the police as it's a waste of time to phone them. They won't want to know because graffitti is somehow beneath them, when they've got charts and forms to fill in, and diversity awareness courses to attend. I discovered long ago that's it's so easy to fill your working day with busyness, and be worn out at the end of it, but without actually having accomplished anything. Whole careers in the NHS and "public service" have been built on this principle. I tried working in the public sector once when I was temping. I can't believe how much time these people waste....
But that's another story.
A few years ago I watched a docusoap on TV about the police trying to identify a persistent "tagger" who would cover anything that was bolted down with his unique identifying design. That's the whole point of tagging isn't it? You place your mark on the environment, so that people know that you've been there.
The police identified that culprit and prosecuted him. He got off, because the court decided that the man's unique tag wasn't unique enough, that is to say- they couldn't prove that the accused was the perpetrator. As no-one had actually seen him at work, they couldn't prove he did it.
It's nonsense of course. It's not beyond those that make our laws to rule that a graffitti tag is as good as a signature, as DNA. If the testimony of handwriting experts can be relied upon in court, why not that of a graffitti expert.
But no, we shrug our shoulders and clean it off. No-one gets prosecuted, no-one gets punished. Some even get lauded. I for one never understand what people see in Banksy's "art". All successful art spawns imitations, so by legitimising his graffitti, all you have done is make it socially acceptable, and it can be debated, raise the "quality" of the vandalism.
It's my wall. I paid for it to be built. I do not want any yob with a spray can cocking his leg up my wall and leaving his spraint thank you.
A few days later a plastic bobby knocked on the door. He was investigating the graffitti attack. (My neighbour had rung the police after they sprayed a line of white along his wooden fence) He commended us on the good job we'd made of cleaning the paint off, but wondered if we'd taken a photo?
As it happened, we had , so I printed on off for him. The PCSO said that the vandals had caused some damage along a neighbouring street, and one of the houses had CCTV, so there is a chance that they could be identified from the footage. (Once the video had been converted to a format that the police could use, that is...)
I'm not holding my breath.