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Old February 7th, 2006, 03:22 PM   #101
Arpels
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ok lol points of view
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Old February 7th, 2006, 08:25 PM   #102
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The Parisian subways and commuter train have mostly scrachiti at windows.
Graffiti aren't a big problem but the trains are dirty.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 01:27 AM   #103
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Case Study Report on Graffiti - New York City

http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/group...025965-03.hcsp

Case Study Report on Graffiti

The case studies - our findings

1. New York City: A focused approach to rapid cleaning and removal

1.1 Scale of the problem

Fifteen years ago the stations and cars of the New York subway were covered with graffiti1. Passengers recall not being able to see out of the windows, so complete was the coverage of the graffiti. Today both are completely clear from painted graffiti.

While painted graffiti has been eradicated from the system, there has recently been a problem of glass etching which has so far defeated the agencies, although plans are being developed to tackle this problem.

1.2 Graffiti removal on the New York Subway

The Anti Graffiti Initiative

The New York City Transit subway system operates every day, 24 hours a day throughout the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The 25 subway lines serve 5.1 million customers on an average weekday and about 1.1 billion passengers a year. There are 5,800 cars, making over 6,000 train trips per day. There are 468 stations, 656 miles of track (not including sidings) and 18 yards where cars are kept overnight. All stations are open 24 hours a day, though some close certain entrances at night, when staffing is also reduced.

The anti graffiti initiative on the New York subway dates from 1984, when Robert Kiley was Chairman and David Gunn was President of Transit. It was in response to a strong public perception that the subway was unsafe, which had led to a fall in ridership.

Staff were assigned to the terminals and yards to start cleaning the rolling stock. Those cars that had a stainless steel exterior had to be completely cleaned; those that were painted had to be painted over. Stations were cleaned, one at a time, and inspected every day to ensure that they stayed clean. Any new 'hit' was cleaned off, or if this was not possible, painted over.

Recognising that the task was enormous, and that to achieve some early successes it would be important to make a visible impact, the company embarked on a line by line approach to cleaning up the system. The first graffiti-free line was the F Line in February 1985. The whole network was finally graffiti free in May 1989.

The theory that underpins the approach in New York is that the graffiti vandal (a term used in preference to 'artist') is motivated and rewarded by seeing their works displayed. Public transport is a perfect target: over five million passengers pass through the stations each day; countless others observe the cars that travel above ground. In order to remove the reward and hence the motivation, it is vital to clean off or cover over any graffiti before it can have an audience. It is said that if complete removal is not possible immediately, putting a line through it is an effective short-term measure.

Staff are deployed at terminals to clean each car after its journey down a line. These staff are issued with a Guide which sets out their priorities for cleaning. Highest priority is accorded to graffiti, which has to be cleaned off or covered over before the car is put back in service. Immediate removal has also been found to make removal easier, as it does not allow time for the paint to 'migrate' into the surface. All cleaners keep a graffiti notebook in which they record graffiti hits, which are then reported to the police.

The Subway Department of Transit has a mobile Wash Unit, and cleaners go out to stations in the middle of the night to remove graffiti.

Cars are seen as being most vulnerable to graffiti at night, when they are in yards or laid up on unused express lines. These are well lit and are subject to the informal surveillance of cleaning staff, as well as the formal patrol of the Transit Police.

Taking cars out of service to remove extensive graffiti undoubtedly causes problems in terms of disruption and delay, which in turn creates problems for front line staff in dealing with the anger and frustration of passengers. However, staff are described as being 'used to that anyway' and the problem is less now that the graffiti problem is so minimal.

The success of the initiative is attributed in large part to political will and the determination of senior management (Robert Kiley and David Gunn), and is said to have repaid the investment by an increase in ridership. However, it is not possible to measure the increase that can be attributed to this specific initiative, since other improvements were underway at the same time, including the introduction of new ticketing and gating arrangements.

The initiative is directed by a monitoring meeting where key managers are called to account. These were initially monthly, but are now held on a quarterly basis. Passenger surveys are carried out on a regular basis, and include questions relating to graffiti and other environmental nuisance, as well as such things as the standard of air conditioning and public announcements.

It is acknowledged that there has been some displacement of graffiti from the subway system to the surrounding area as a result of this initiative. The Mayor's Anti Graffiti Task Force (see below) is a multi agency initiative committed to a similar approach in the wider environment and which, therefore, tackles some of this displacement.

The media is seen as having been important in promoting the achievements of the initiative and attracting back passengers. Reporters were invited to see stations that had been cleaned up. Arrests of vandals are reported in the media which, in the view of Transit, is more important than the fact that the sentences may not reflect - in their opinion - the seriousness of the offence.

Law Enforcement and Detection

The Transit Police were incorporated into the New York Police Department (NYPD) in 1995. This is thought to have improved crime management and communications. The Transit Police Vandal Squad comprises one Lieutenant, eight Sergeants, and sixty officers. They have been involved in the initiative from the outset. Their task is to deploy staff to patrol and monitor the terminals and yards where cars have been cleaned, as a deterrent and to catch the graffiti vandals. They also have a designated team - the Graffiti Habitual Offender Suppression Team - who are proactive and target known offenders.

Large or significant pieces of graffiti are photographed to provide evidence if the vandal is caught and prosecuted. A record is made of the time taken to clean the graffiti and the cost of the materials, and both pieces of information are submitted to the court.

People found guilty in court of fare evasion, graffiti and vandalism, may be required to report to their local Precinct (police station) and may, as part of Community Service, be required to paint over or remove graffiti.

1.3 Graffiti removal in New York City

The Mayor's Anti Graffiti Task Force

Mayor Giuliani's Anti Graffiti Task Force was established in 1995. It is a multi agency initiative involving:

Department of Buildings
Department of Business Services
Department of Cultural Affairs
New York City Economic Development Corporation
Department of Environmental Protection
Department of Finance
New York City Fire Department
Department of Citywide Administrative Service
Department of Health
New York City Housing Authority
Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Human Resources Administration
Landmarks Commission
Law Department
Parks Department
New York City Police Department
Department of Probation
Department of Sanitation
New York City Transit
Department of Transportation
Department of Youth and Community Development Services
Office of the Mayor
Community Assistance Unit

The Task Force meets monthly, with meetings chaired by the Assistant Counsel to the Mayor. These are used to identify target areas for clean up, and to co-ordinate the contribution of the relevant agencies to the exercise.

The Task Force stresses the importance of making a visible impact, and so targets only small areas where the removal of graffiti will be noticed by the community and will be sustainable.

Prior to a graffiti removal exercise, outreach staff from the City Council and Mayor's office approach local businesses and residents with consent waiver forms, which give the owner's permission to remove graffiti from their building. A database of waivers is currently being compiled to avoid the need to obtain further waivers, should it become necessary to go back to any location in the future.

Graffiti is removed by applying chemicals to the site. These chemicals are then washed off. While the chemicals are highly toxic, when mixed with water they become harmless. If removal is impossible - for example if the surface itself is painted, and removal of the graffiti would result in the original paint being stripped too - then the surface is painted over.

Retail outlets sponsor the materials (paints and rollers) used to paint over graffiti, seeing it as a means of promoting themselves in the neighbourhood. The initiative uses over 4,000 gallons of paint each year, so sponsorship is important in keeping costs to a minimum.

The Probation Service uses people on Community Service on the work crews to clean graffiti in public places. There are likely to be between six and twelve individuals on each work crew, supervised by Probation. During the first three months of 2001, people serving Community Service Orders cleaned graffiti from about 800,000 square feet of public space.

In the course of this initiative the City passed a law prohibiting the sale of spray paints and markers to those less than 18 years of age. They cannot be displayed openly in shops, and can be advertised by use of facsimile only. Graffiti vandals who are under 18 therefore have to either steal them or obtain them from over 18 year-olds.

Since the Anti Graffiti initiative has been perceived by the community to be successful there has been an increase in reporting. Indeed, reporting to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development has increased despite the fact the level of graffiti has decreased considerably over the last three years, so that public housing is now estimated at 80% graffiti-free.

After a removal exercise, the local Precinct is notified and it is their responsibility to monitor and patrol the area, to ensure that the area is not re-targeted.

Some of the agencies and departments are able to estimate the annual costs of graffiti removal as follows:

Housing Preservation and Development
over $100,000

Sanitation
$117,000 ($86,000 being personnel)

Police Department
$5,000,000 (personnel)

Human Resources Administration
$1,000,000

Fire Department
$155,000



The first stage in the removal process is the application of highly toxic chemicals



The surface is then sprayed with water



The wall is cleaned. It may be necessary to re-apply chemicals to parts of the wall



Police costs are calculated not only to cover the Graffiti Squad but on the basis that every officer is responsible for deterring and detecting even the most minor offence.

It is anticipated that the costs of graffiti removal will decrease over time, as the initiative is successful in deterring potential offenders. Some departments already report a decrease in expenditure on this basis.

The Mayor's Paint Programme was set up to enable communities to take pride and responsibility for their own neighbourhood. A total of $306,000 is spent on paint removal kits, which are made available to community groups who are willing to do the work themselves. The Programme is advertised, but also publicised through community group meetings. Groups are offered assistance on how to set about planning the work and getting waivers signed by owners. The need to continue removing any graffiti hits made after the initial exercise is stressed. Locations are checked out to make sure that the need is legitimate, and Groups are asked to take photographs before and after the removal, so that these can be kept on file.

The Mayor's approach to crime is rooted in the 'Broken Windows' philosophy, and addresses the 'quality of life' issues such as begging, graffiti and vandalism on the basis that this improves public perceptions and deters potential offenders. Leaders of graffiti gangs are often wanted for more serious offences and, thus, catching them indirectly prevents other crime.

This approach is said to have brought about a reduction in crime and a growth in business greater than in any other US city. In 1994, the New York Police Department began a new approach to policing. Each Precinct is required to hold weekly 'COMPSTAT' meetings where crime trends are reviewed, using state-of-the art computer mapping techniques able to pinpoint crimes down to block level. Precinct commanders are called upon to account for trends in incidents and are required to devise detailed strategies and target resources accordingly2.

While the Transit initiative predates the Task Force by over 10 years, and had already achieved considerable success, New York City Transit and the Transit Police play an important role in the Task Force in motivating other agencies and contributing their expertise. Their view is that the Task Force extends the removal of graffiti beyond the limits of the subway, hence decreasing the motivation of offenders further and reducing the chances of displacement.

1 A description of the origins and development of graffiti on the New York City transit system is provided in the Literature Review that forms part of this study.

2 More details are provided in 'Respectful and Effective Policing: Two Examples in South Bronx' Robert C Davis and Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, Vera Institute of Justice, New York, March 1999
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Old February 8th, 2006, 01:33 AM   #104
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Case Study Report on Graffiti - London Underground

http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/group...hcsp#TopOfPage

Case Study Report on Graffiti

2. British Transport Police, London Underground Graffiti Unit: Focused on detection and arrest

2.1 Scale of the problem

Cleaning and repairing graffiti and vandalism on the London Underground network costs between £2.5 and £3 million a year. Despite some successes in recent years, incidents of graffiti and vandalism have been increasing.

Data collected by the London Underground Graffiti Unit identified that most of the perpetrators are between 14 and 30 years of age. Most are boys and young men, although there has been an increase in the number of girls and young women involved in graffiti. The Unit have also identified that, although many come from poor or deprived home environments, there are others who come from comfortable and higher income families. Some of the perpetrators come from abroad. The Unit has apprehended young people from Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Spain and Sweden.

2.2 The Graffiti Unit

The London Underground Graffiti Unit is staffed with three officers and is part of the British Transport Police. The Unit was first set up in 1992 in response to major problems from graffiti and vandalism in the early 1990s. It was temporarily disbanded in 1996 because it was felt that the problems of graffiti and vandalism had been largely resolved. However, the Unit was re-established in 1997 in response to evidence that the problems were increasing and with the growth of glass etching or 'Dutch graffiti'.

The Unit commented that young people target the Underground network because:

"they want to be accepted, to get fame, to get recognition. They want their name to be known all over London, that's the key".
There are certain prominent walls in the overground sections of the network that attract many incidents of graffiti and are known within the culture as 'halls of fame'. For example, there are the walls along the tracks at Barons Court and Hammersmith, and those by Westway on the approach to Paddington Station.

In recent years, glass etching has increased in prevalence. The Graffiti Unit identify that those "doing the etching also do the paint. Etching is escalating and paint appears to be diminishing". The perpetrators use stones or drill bits for the etching and, if apprehended, these are easy to hide or throw away.

It is said that there is an increasing interest in glass etching because it will be there for much longer and not readily replaced because of the high costs involved. It costs about £6,000 to replace all the toughened glass windows in a LUL carriage. Measures that have been considered to tackle glass etching have included the use of film over the glass, but there are safety implications and this has not been introduced. London Underground is currently researching ways of preventing glass etching.

There have been major incidents where the perpetrators have been seriously injured or killed through electrocution or when hit by a train. That does not appear to be a deterrent for these young people or young adults who will continue their activities even after a friend has been seriously injured or even killed. As the Graffiti Unit commented:

"young people today take more and more risks. The men used to plan their graffiti missions, they knew the area and what they were going to have to do, where the live rails were etc. But this isn't the case today. The 13/14 year olds, they don't do that,
they just step out across the tracks and it's very dangerous. These kids do not even realise that the LUL power is on 24 hours a day, every day"
The Graffiti Unit have identified that those involved in graffiti are often also involved in other kinds of offences. Involvement in graffiti is said to be linked often to solvent abuse and use of cannabis. The Unit described a progression where:

"the 14 year old will do graffiti, but then there is a steady progression - underage drinking, cannabis, shoplifting, car crime...damage to ticket machines, into street robbery and stealing mobile phones for money for drugs and paints. There is substantial evidence that they are involved in other crimes"
The approach of the Unit is based on the premise that recognition and good intelligence are the keys to apprehending offenders. Using computer software, the Graffiti Unit registers all tags and pieces on their database. The data is analysed to identify persistent offenders3 and hotspots for their activity. On the basis of this intelligence, the Unit will target locations and perpetrators.

The Unit collects and presents to the Court evidence of all the perpetrator's other offences through tags and pieces. Section 6 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 is used for arrest and to carry out house searches, including computer records. There is often photographic evidence in the home of the perpetrator actually carrying out acts of graffiti writing, these photographs are taken for inclusion in the perpetrator's 'black book' of pieces.

If the cost of the criminal damage is calculated at over £5000, the case will be referred to the Crown Court. The Unit is keen for those charged to go before the Crown Court because of the scope for tougher sentences. Providing all the evidence can result in those charged for the first time receiving a much stronger sentence, including a custodial term and a fine.

The Graffiti Unit has had success with this proactive approach. For example, one young man has been sentenced to 240 hours of Community Service and a fine of £2,000, and another to 140 hours of Community Service and a fine of £1,000.

The advantage of having a dedicated graffiti team is that they are in the position to collect and present all the evidence specific to an individual perpetrator. In contrast, the Home Office police are more likely to have the evidence specific only to the offence for which the person was apprehended. On this basis, the perpetrator may only be given a caution or a small fine, although he may have been responsible for more than thirty or more incidents.

2.3 Issues emerging from the initiative

The Criminal Damage Act 1971 was said by the Unit to be effective, but does not give Stop and Search powers. If Section 3 of that Act is strengthened in this regard it would enable the officers, for example, to search a group of young people out late at night or early in the morning for cans of spray paint.

Despite the fact that they contain solvents, there is no regulation governing the sale of spray paint. With mixed effect, there have been attempts at voluntary agreements with retailers. A change in the law that treats spray paints in a similar manner to glues is required to begin to tackle an important source of such paints.

More information needs to be made available to the Crown Prosecution Service to help them to effectively prosecute these kinds of offences. Although it was said that the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 had helped to raise awareness of these offences, more information needs to be provided to the Courts about the cost and seriousness of these offences and its links to other crimes.

One issue in particular is that, when calculating the costs of graffiti, the Courts do not take into account the time that a train or carriage is out of service and hence not available for passenger use. If the time out of service while the train or carriage is cleaned and/or repaired were taken into account, this would significantly increase the total cost of the incident. With a LUL train, this can amount to thousands of pounds. This would not only mean that the seriousness of the problem would gain wider recognition but the case would be above the £5,000 limit and be referred to the Crown Court.

About three years ago the Graffiti Unit tried, but failed, to get the cost of the train or carriage out of service taken into account in a test case. No attempt has been made to include these costs recently.

The Graffiti Unit is against making 'legal' or 'permitted' walls available. It is said to do nothing to reduce the prevalence of graffiti more widely. There are also responsibilities under Health and Safety legislation for anyone making a wall in their ownership available for such purposes.

3 Tags are generally personal to the perpetrator. Someone engaged in graffiti will usually only be allowed to write someone else's tag if they are there or to say 'hello'.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 01:37 AM   #105
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Case Study Report on Graffiti - Dutch Railways

http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/group...hcsp#TopOfPage

Case Study Report on Graffiti

3. Dutch Railways: A package approach

Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) is Holland's largest railway company. Each day, NS carries about a million passengers in 4,500 trains serving 320 stations on a rail network that extends over 2,500 kilometres.

3.1 Scale of the problem

The cleaning and removal of graffiti costs NS about 10m Gilders a year (about £3.5 million). The impact of graffiti on the NS network has increased significantly in the last two years. This is linked to the lack of priority given to the problem. At that time, it was thought that the problem had been contained, and resources within the police and the company were diverted to other priorities.

Vandalism and graffiti on the network is more prevalent in the western half of Holland, in and around the cities and larger towns. There are also 'hotspots' elsewhere, for example near the border towns with Germany in southern Holland. Some trackside walls and buildings are intensely targeted with graffiti. For example, along the trackside from The Hague to Utrecht, including the panels installed to act as a barrier between the road and rail. Most of the graffiti, and especially the big pieces created with spray paints on the trains, occur while they are in the depots.

In common with transport operators in other countries, the spread of so-called 'Dutch graffiti' is a problem for NS. This type of vandalism did not originate in the Netherlands but owes its name to the association between Holland and the diamond-cutting industry. Those responsible for the glass etching are not usually those engaged in spray painting 'pieces'. The perpetrators of the glass etching tend to be young people who are travelling, whilst it is usually the gangs or 'crews', often of older young people or adults, who are responsible for the 'pieces'. Stones or the stops from beer bottles are often used in the etching.

Although perpetrators do come from other countries in Europe and beyond, most of the graffiti is the work of local gangs or 'crews' from within the Netherlands. There are many local magazines and Internet sites devoted to graffiti.

Young people are responsible for most of the vandalism, graffiti and other crime on the NS network. The company identify that young people at a younger and younger age are responsible for criminal acts on the network. Today, there are acts of violence committed by twelve year olds.

3.2 A company-wide commitment

The company distinguishes between 'objective security' (defined as the experiences of crime) and 'subjective security' (defined as the fear of crime and its impact on the motivation to travel and the health of staff). The presence of graffiti and vandalism are identified as key elements contributing to 'subjective security' or fear of crime.

Within NS, there is a commitment from senior management that security is a priority for the company, and all employees are responsible for ensuring the security of passengers, staff and property. Public security is seen as central to providing a quality service. The company has an integrated public security policy governing the collection and analysis of information, the role of staff, and the use of technical and communication measures.

There is a budget for security and a project team responsible for public security on the NS network. Over the last year, there has been increased investment for security. This has included a programme for the train depots to be equipped with CCTV surveillance cameras and patrols by security guards.

There are over 800 employees whose work specifically includes responsibility for public security concerns. All these staff are issued with mobile phones and handheld computers to receive and download information about incidents, including those of vandalism. In addition, there are frontline staff (such as, train-based ticket inspectors and transport assistants) whose responsibilities include providing a presence that can deter misuse of the network, including through vandalism.

3.3 Company-based initiatives

Rapid Cleaning and Removal

For the last ten years, NS has had a policy for the rapid removal and cleaning of graffiti. When staff report graffiti or vandalism on a train and, if it is not on a regular scheduled service, it is removed and cleaned within 24 hours.

However, as the NS network has attracted increasing numbers of passengers, the company has had to deploy its rolling stock more intensively. Thus, it can be difficult to always rapidly remove trains from service and a small percentage of carriages with graffiti do travel the network, albeit for only a matter of a few days. That the numbers of such carriages are small was confirmed by observation as a passenger on the NS network. Across a variety of lines and services, during our short visit, only one carriage was seen in service with spray paint graffiti.

Design and Materials

The company identifies the design of stations and rolling stock and the choice of materials as important elements in preventing graffiti and vandalism. New stations and trains are open, bright and with clear sight lines. Stations and trains that are open and transparent in design tend to stay cleaner and graffiti-free. It is company policy to use materials in the construction of new or refurbished stations that can be easily cleaned and are robust against graffiti. For example, there is a preference not to use concrete since the spray paint is absorbed and is difficult to remove.

A Bus stop in a Dutch town



As with other transport operators, Dutch graffiti is a growing problem that is proving difficult to tackle effectively. The use of film across the glass is one option and is said to be used in the Paris Metro4. Although film does protect the glass, the visual effect of the etching is greater. Also, the film would need to be replaced regularly (daily on some routes) and this would be difficult to achieve and costly. Another option would be to coat the window glass with a transparent paste. When scratched, the paste can be re-applied. The company said this option was expensive and, as yet, its effectiveness was not fully known.

NS has been proactive in encouraging the planting of high bushes and fast growing vegetation on trackside walls. This has been very effective in reducing the opportunities for the perpetrators of graffiti.

Enhancing the Legal Response
Within the last two years, the Netherlands Government has announced that tackling insecurity in the public domain is a priority issue. Vandalism and graffiti are identified as important elements for creating unsafe public environments and there has been increased awareness of these problems by the Courts and Criminal Justice System.

As an important innovation, NS employ a magistrate within the company and she is a member of the security project team. The presence of a magistrate within the team has acted as an important catalyst for raising awareness in the Courts of the importance of security for quality and safe travel. The magistrate knew who and how to contact those within the criminal justice system and raise awareness of the seriousness of vandalism, graffiti, travel fraud and other crimes. Prior to her involvement, there was a perception that these problems were really a 'company' issue. It is now more widely acknowledged that these problems cannot be tackled effectively within society unless security on public transport is seen as an integral part of safety in the public domain.

The company takes legal action against the perpetrator for repayment of the cost of the damage. If the perpetrator is a young person, monies may be sought from their parents or arrangements made for payment to be made when they are in employment. By whatever means, the company is very strict that arrangements have to be made for payment of the damage. This, in addition to the criminal process, is said to be very effective and can have a preventive impact in the message it sends to other vandals.

Until recently, criminal damage was considered a minor offence in the Courts with the sentence of a fine and compensation. To calculate the compensation due, there is an agreement between the Justices and the police on the standard cost per square metre of damage. This standard cost includes cleaning and the monies lost by taking the rolling stock out of service.

The Government has recently agreed that it can qualify as the more serious offence of 'public violence against persons or goods' with the scope for imposing a custodial sentence.

Preventive Work in Schools
The company delivers programmes to young people in schools to deter misuse and dangerous behaviour and encourage responsible travel.

One programme targets sixteen year olds and is about the consequences of violence against train staff. Nearly two-thirds of violent incidents towards staff involve people not travelling with a ticket or travelling without a valid ticket and some of these incidents involve those engaged in vandalism and graffiti. A ticket inspector who was severely assaulted has developed the programme. It includes a particularly effective and moving video that explores, in a story-format, the consequences of a severe assault for a man, his family and the perpetrator.

A second programme is delivered by train drivers and is targeted at trackside incidents of trespass and vandalism. It includes a professionally produced video. This adopts a story-format to reveal how the activities of a group of young people playing by the track can escalate from play to vandalism by laying stones and other obstacles on the track. A young boy with the group then runs for his ball in the path of a fast-moving train and it is certain that he has been killed. Although he managed to jump clear, this is not known for some time. The focus is on the driver and the guard and the other young people expecting to find the body under the train. The video also shows other examples of dangerous behaviour, including: young adults sitting on the platform dangling their legs over the track, and a cyclist ignoring the red light to travel across a crossing with a train approaching.

3.4 The Dutch Railway Police: Graffiti Co-ordination Team

Those responsible for graffiti have well-developed networks for information and communication. NS and the Railway Police identify the importance for those seeking to effectively tackle and prevent graffiti to access up-to-date and reliable information with the capacity to identify vulnerable locations and anticipate events. To be effective, the team identified the need for a co-ordinated and sustained approach of "cleaning and catching".

The Dutch Railway Police are independent of NS, but work closely with the company. Within the Force, there is a team of four officers with a key role in registering graffiti and co-ordinating efforts to tackle graffiti and vandalism. Two years ago the team of officers was reduced to one. Although the registration of pieces and tags continued, there were little or no proactive measures to arrest the perpetrators. Recently, four officers were taken out of general service with the Railway Police and allocated to the Graffiti Co-ordination Team.

All incidents of graffiti - pieces and tags - are registered and analysed by the team using computer software. Information is exchanged between the Civilian and Railway Police. The Dutch Railway Police also benefit from Interpol arrangements that facilitate the exchange of information on graffiti and perpetrators across national borders.

When a person or persons are apprehended for an incident of graffiti, a photograph is taken of the piece or tag and entered into the system to see if it matches any others that have been registered. The history of previous tags or pieces is made available to the Court, along with evidence of the current incident, and is taken into account in sentencing.

3.5 Issues emerging from the initiative

As in other countries, the open sale of spray paints is perceived as a weakness in tackling graffiti. Spray paints can be purchased anywhere in the Netherlands, but they are expensive and many get stolen from open shelves. The police made an agreement with a shop in The Hague that they would take their spray paint cans off the open shelves. There was evidence that incidents of graffiti significantly decreased in the local area.

NS and the Railway Police argue against 'legal' or 'permitted' walls to channel graffiti away from illegal sites. It is said that, in the graffiti culture, the real excitement and fame comes from tags and pieces on illegal sites. 'Legal' walls are where perpetrators practice their skills, but they do not stop using other sites.

As in other countries, there is a problem with the walls of commercial buildings that back onto the railway tracks. The private owners of these buildings are often reluctant to spend money on removing the graffiti, especially when it is largely unseen by them and has little or no impact on their business.

4 Although on a visit in August 2001, the windows of many carriages in the Paris metro were observed to have been defaced by Dutch graffiti.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 01:44 AM   #106
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Case Study Report on Graffiti - Stockholm Transport

http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/group...hcsp#TopOfPage

Case Study Report on Graffiti

4. Stockholm Transport: A partnership approach

Stockholm Transport - AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL)- is owned by the County Council of Stockholm. SL's task is to provide passenger transport services to those living and working in the twenty-six municipalities of the County. It has responsibility for three bus companies, light rail and train operations and the Underground system. One million people travel on the network every day. The residents of Stockholm County are among the keenest users of public transport in Europe, with more than 70% of peak time commuters choosing to travel by public transport.

4.1 Scale of the problem

In 2000, the costs of removing graffiti and repairing incidents of vandalism exceeded SEK 100 million for the first time, an increase of more than 20% on 1999. These costs do not include the indirect costs of surveillance, preventive measures or delays to services. In 1999, the Underground was most affected. Bus infrastructure and vehicles accounted for the greatest increase between 1999 and 2000.

Spray paint graffiti came to Sweden from the United States in 1986 when it figured prominently in the film 'Style Wars'. This film, shown in Sweden in 1986, was about graffiti crews in New York, featured hip hop music and targeted young people. There is said to be a significant difference between the perpetrators of today and those from the 1980s. The earlier perpetrators had informal codes about where to paint and not to paint. Today, graffiti has spread to cultural monuments, churches and historic buildings in the old city.

There has been a growth of glass etching or Dutch graffiti, especially on train carriage windows. They have considered placing a film on the glass, but there are problems with fire regulations and this solution is expensive, as it requires the frequent replacement of the film.

Acts of graffiti are carried out at all times, but afternoons and nights are preferred. In the daytime, the perpetrators focus on the train's central carriages as few passengers ride in these cars and they can work relatively undisturbed. At night, trains parked in the depots are the most vulnerable.

Incidents of graffiti are often accompanied by other acts of vandalism. For example, two young people aged 15 years were apprehended in a tunnel after having switched the lights in a track signal. It is not uncommon for concrete posts to be placed on the track to give those engaged in graffiti warning of a train approaching as it hits or brakes to avoid these obstructions. In many accidents involving objects placed on the track, new graffiti has been found near the site.

The vandalism is becoming more aggressive. The interiors of many carriages have been completely destroyed. Increasingly, spray paint images or pieces have been replaced by simply covering as many seats and walls as possible with paint. There is a significant trend away from artistic expression to destruction and violent behaviour. A video made by the perpetrators shows a whole train being 'bombed' with graffiti and vandalised. The images and the words accompanying the music on the video are aggressive and violent. Perpetrators have been apprehended carrying heavy sticks, rocks tied by rope and knives. Personal information about those employed to apprehend the perpetrators and tackle graffiti and vandalism is circulated on the Internet.

Although those arrested for graffiti include those from other countries in Europe, the United States and Australia, most of the perpetrators are from Sweden and Stockholm County. The perpetrators of the graffiti are usually boys or young men, aged between 12 and 18 years, and come from families across social classes and income groups. There are also perpetrators as young as nine and as old as forty. The older men often provide 'role models' for the young people.

Recently, more girls and young women are involved in graffiti and now have their own crews or gangs. Girls are said to choose tags that mean something to them, whilst boys will pick tags that are easy to write and look good. Although only accounting for a small minority of the perpetrators, there are an increasing number of second and third generation young people whose families have immigrated to Sweden.

A small number of prolific perpetrators are responsible for about 80% of all incidents on the SL network. As an example of prolific and long term offending, two perpetrators were apprehended aged 29 and 30 years of age and known from their tags to be responsible for many incidents. Both had started with graffiti when they were 14 and continued in their activities for fifteen years. When apprehended, both were in regular employment and one had a young family.

The perpetrators in gangs or crews are usually well organised and well prepared. Many wear masks and gloves, the latter to avoid getting paint on their fingers to aid detection. Their spray paints and other materials are often hidden earlier by the trackside to avoid carrying them to and from the site. Lookouts will often be posted on the platforms. The perpetrators may take two or three hours moving between stations in an attempt to mislead the police and security.

Evidence gathered by those apprehending the perpetrators have revealed that many of the young people engaged in graffiti will also use illegal drugs (mainly cannabis, but increasingly ecstasy as well) and alcohol. The solvents in the spray paints can be an addiction. Those involved regularly in graffiti are often also engaged in other forms of criminal activity.

There are serious accidents, even fatalities, involving those engaged in graffiti. Young people of 11 or 12 years of age have been apprehended only a few inches from the live rail. Often they are unaware that the rail remains live at night or that trains travel through the tunnels at that time. Young people have been known to surf on trains and hang out of the windows to spray paint. Injuries to themselves or their friends do not act as a deterrent. To spray paint in a very dangerous site increases their credibility within the sub-culture.

4.2 A county-wide partnership

SL works closely with other public, private and voluntary agencies in a partnership approach to tackle graffiti and vandalism. SL is a major contributor to the anti-graffiti network in Stockholm County that includes: local authorities; police; fire department; schools; housing corporations; attorneys; community representatives; the Swedish State Railways; the National Rail Administration; the National Road Administration; electricity companies; and the Post Office. The purpose is to exchange experiences and co-ordinate action. In several municipalities, there are local meetings held with school staff, parents, politicians and youth workers.

In Stockholm, all the City departments co-ordinate their activities to rapidly remove graffiti. The City Council has good liaison with SL and there have been joint projects, such as letters to property owners and businesses with property near to the Metro to report graffiti to the police and the importance of recording the tags and pieces.

A policy has been agreed by the County Governor and others that takes a public stand against 'legal walls' and so-called 'graffiti schools' where such activities are taught within art education programmes. A booklet warning of the dangers and consequences of graffiti has been sent to all 38,000 households in Stockholm with children aged 11 to 13 years. The City has also contributed financially to an anti-graffiti campaign on television that targeted young people.

4.3 SL based initiatives

In 1993, the SL Executive Board agreed an action plan and budget for 'Operation Safety' for crime prevention and law enforcement on public transport in Stockholm.

Rapid Cleaning and Removal

It is company policy to remove graffiti and repair vandalism as soon as practical. When there is graffiti on a bus or train, it will be taken out of service and cleaned within twenty-four hours. If the graffiti is on a station or trackside, it will be removed as soon as possible. SL employs a hundred staff for the rapid cleaning of graffiti. There are cleaning staff available for twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week.

From observation of travelling by bus and train in Stockholm, there were very few examples of graffiti on the rolling stock.

Design Measures

In response to graffiti and vandalism, SL now uses more robust materials for the interiors of train carriages to make them easier to clean and restore. New rolling stock, especially on the Metro, is designed with open carriages, clear sight sights, and good lighting and visibility.

The Stockholm underground system was inaugurated in 1950. From the start, artists were involved in providing interiors for the stations that would 'make underground travel an experience instead of just a means of transport'. There was a dual purpose - the artists believed these interiors could both provide an enhanced travel experience and 'counteract vandalism'.

Public Art Features in the Stockholm Metro





Following the competition to decorate the main T-Centralen station announced in 1956, the process was judged to be a success and more stations became the focus of artistic design. Today, sculptures, mosaics and paintings can be found in ninety of the Metro's hundred stations, most in chambers shaped from solid rock. Some 140 artists have contributed to the Metro's permanent art exhibition and many more have contributed to temporary art features. SL invests SEK 19 millions a year in developing and safeguarding this artwork, including from graffiti and vandalism.

Preventive Work in Schools

To prevent the recruitment of young people into graffiti, SL has more than thirty school representatives employed by the company to visit all schools and talk to Year 5 and 6 students. Those representatives who visit the schools are bus and train drivers. SL's school representatives have an important role in reaching out to young people and in guiding and informing teachers and parents.

Falck Security

Falck Security is a private company that is contracted by SL to provide plain clothes security guards to patrol the rail and underground network. The guards will carry out a citizen's arrest to apprehend the perpetrators of criminal activities, including vandalism and graffiti. It is based on a similar operation in Oslo where a private security company was hired to work in plain clothes to detect and apprehend vandals. It was found that this approach was much more effective than patrolling in uniform.

The Falck Vandal Squad in Stockholm was established in 1996. Initially, it was a small team that spent time learning the graffiti sub-culture and gathering intelligence. Today, there are many more guards in the Vandal Squad and they operate twenty four hours a day and seven days a week.

Since March 1996, the Vandal Squad has apprehended 900 young people in the act of vandalism and graffiti. On a targeted operation, Falck Security has apprehended up to thirty people engaged in acts of criminal damage, including those on 'look-out' for security or the police. To be apprehended, the person does not have to have a can of spray paint in their hand, but to be acting together with those engaged in the graffiti.

The Vandal Squad meets regularly with the Justices to raise awareness of the scale and seriousness of the problems on the public transport network.

4.4 Stockholm Subway Police

The Subway Police was first set up in 1967 and by the mid-1980s had 170 officers. It was disbanded in 1994 during a major re-structuring of the Stockholm Police Force. At that time, the Stockholm police were re-organised into eight new districts and each district included responsibility for public transport, including the Metro. However, in 1998. it was decided that specialist skills were needed to police the underground and the Subway Police were reinstated, although not at the same strength.

A new bus shelter in a residential district of Stockholm vandalised with a tag and scratched glass



Cover of the booklet circulated to families across Stockholm to raise awareness of the dangers and cost of graffiti and vandalism



The Subway Graffiti Unit was set up in February 2000, initially with five officers and currently with nine. The Unit gathers intelligence on all incidents of graffiti, with tags and pieces registered on a database. There is a Scandinavian network for exchanging information and intelligence and the Unit contributes to this.

Although each of the police districts remains responsible for investigating an incident and bringing charges, the Graffiti Unit will inform, advise and co-ordinate these activities. The Unit will also carry out its own investigation and prosecute when the offence is known to be the work of a prolific perpetrator responsible for many incidents.

The Graffiti Unit has a meeting once a week with Falck Security to exchange information and co-ordinate operations. Initially, relationships between the Graffiti Unit and Falck were strained, but this has much improved with regular communication, and the security guards now attend a one day's training with the police.

4.5 Lugna Gathan - Calm Streets

Lugna Gathan is a voluntary sector initiative that developed in 1995, initially through the involvement of SL. As mentioned earlier, major changes in the structure of the Stockholm police meant there was no longer a Subway Police force to patrol the underground network. SL was faced with two alternatives - either to employ security guards or to try a different approach. As a consequence Calm Streets was funded by SL, with unemployed and disadvantaged young people recruited and employed to patrol the network.

Calm Streets has now extended its funding and activities to work in schools and within the community to help young people who are the victims of crime and at risk of offending. Most of the young people that Calm Streets works with are between 15 and 19 years. It has a Board of Management that includes the Mayor of Stockholm, the Chief of Police, a representative from SL and community representatives.

On the Metro, there are about sixty young people who patrol the network in pairs. They are there to assist passengers and enhance their feelings of safety, but not to apprehend troublemakers. There are concerns from SL about the deployment and efficiency of these patrols. Calm Streets also has a role in working with young people who hang about the Metro system and stations. They talk to these young people, gain their trust and attempt to engage them in constructive activities. Such interventions are said to prevent offending behaviour in the wider community, including on the Metro system.

The ethos of Calm Streets is to recruit people who are representative of the young people they work with. That is to employ people with similar life experiences and ethnicity and live in the same geographical areas in Stockholm County. There is said to be a great deal of frustration among young people, especially those who come from immigrant communities, because those working for the police and other official organisations do not reflect the diversity of Stockholm's present day residents. Calm Streets wanted to break this pattern and give those socially excluded young people an opportunity to access employment and act as positive role models to other young people from economically disadvantaged communities.

It was hoped that, through the experience of working for Calm Streets, these young adults would move on to access other employment, for example in the police or fire services or Falck Security. Originally, the maximum period working for Calm Streets was to have been two years. However, many have not moved on but are still employed with Calm Streets as adults, some with family responsibilities.

About a hundred people are now employed in Calm Streets, with most employees aged between 20 and 30 years. The staff employed by Calm Streets speak more than thirty different languages and they employ people from many different ethnic and religious groups. Everyone in the organisation wears a distinctive shirt and jacket. As well as its citywide role in patrolling the Metro, Calm Streets works within the community in fifteen Stockholm suburbs.

Calm Streets can be invited by a school to help with problems of offending or anti-social behaviour, including vandalism, and drug misuse. Currently, it is working in about ten different schools. The approach is to begin by talking to the young people about their problems, the kind of incidents that occur and who are responsible. Time will be taken building up the trust of the young people before discussing issues with the teachers and bringing them together.

Calm Streets will work with the young people to develop a group of students to represent the school. Anyone can apply to be in this group, whether they have been responsible for past incidents or not. Calm Streets have found that "the troublemakers are often the ones who can solve the problems". However, once a member of that group, they have to take responsibility and provide a good role model for other students and attend school. Calm Streets will provide classes in anger management and conflict resolution. The police and other agencies will be involved to help raise awareness of drug misuse and the consequences of offending behaviour. Calm Streets will also involve the parents and support them and the young person who has been involved in offending behaviour or been the victim of crime.

4.6 Issues emerging from the initiative

The experience of SL and the Stockholm police is that 'legal walls' merely provide practice sites for the perpetrators of graffiti who will prefer and continue to use illegal sites. Those involved in graffiti do not use the Internet as a substitute medium but as means of communication and for extending publicity for their pieces and tags. With more transport operators adopting a policy of rapid removal of graffiti, perpetrators increasingly see the Internet as a more permanent arena for the display of their pieces and tags.

The free availability of spray paints remains a problem. In Stockholm, there is a shop specialising in spray paint selling the cans at cheaper prices to those who are members through their regular involvement in graffiti. Despite attempts by the authorities to restrict or stop the trade, this shop is said to be selling about 30,000 cans of spray paint a week. Changes in legislation that provided for restrictions on the open sale of spray paints would be effective.

Advertising and the media can give out mixed messages that suggest graffiti is acceptable. SL has an agreement with the local media that pictures of graffiti will not be shown as this only fuels the perpetrator's desire for acknowledgement and publicity.

The language used in describing graffiti and how it is tackled is important. In Stockholm, it is considered important not to refer to the response as a 'war' as this is aligned to the culture of violence and aggression increasingly adopted by the perpetrators.

There is little scope for intervention for a young person engaged in their first act of vandalism or graffiti.

If the police or Falck Security apprehend a person of 15 years or younger, the only recourse is for a social worker to contact the young person and their parents. This can only result in one visit and the young person may not receive the message that such activities are serious and unacceptable. The Graffiti Team with the Subway Police have developed a proposal to work with young people aged between 10 and 13 years who have offended for the first time. If this proposal is developed, it will involve meetings with the young person and their parents to talk through the incident and explain the consequences of re-offending and reinforce parental responsibility.

Parents, teachers and youth workers in particular should learn to spot the early signs of a child's or young person's engagement with graffiti. There can be important signs from scribbles in a school book that could suggest the beginnings of an attraction with the sub-culture.

It is often difficult to get the criminal justice system and the Courts to respond to graffiti with sufficient seriousness. The police, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and SL have suggested a number of changes to the criminal code. In particular, that the maximum sentence should be one year's imprisonment and not six months as currently. Also, that the stop and search powers should be extended to permit the police to search suspected perpetrators for spray paint cans. It is hoped that some of these changes will go before the Swedish Parliament.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 07:04 AM   #107
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Mr. Jacob, the new SKM trains look pretty slick! I would be surprised it anyone paint them!
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Old February 12th, 2006, 07:58 AM   #108
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I would rather see talented exterior graffiti art on the Chicago trains than those stupid full car exterior ads that are now popular. Vandals?...sure...but talented vandals!
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Old February 12th, 2006, 12:33 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WANCH
Mr. Jacob, the new SKM trains look pretty slick! I would be surprised it anyone paint them!
WARSAW SKM



GDANSK SKM

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Old February 13th, 2006, 02:01 AM   #110
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I have never seen any graffiti on any Toronto subway trains, metro trains, or trams. Graffiti really isn't a big problem in Toronto.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 09:02 AM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine
ALL GRAFFITI WRITERS ARE STUPID PEOPLE!!!

I find it remarkable that some people are so self-absorbed that they think of their acts of vandalism as having artistic value!
now this here

this is a prime example of "the public" putting down something that they don't understand and cannot be apart of. thats the problem people who can't particpate in art always what to say what art is or isn't.


Who are you to determine if a blockbuster, or a burner has no artistic value. With ignorant statements like that you obviously are unaware of the aesthetic's of art in general. I'm not saying graffiti, i'm saying art because thats what it is. Sure not all of it is good, but are all paintings on canvases good? are all etchings made with the skill of rembrandt? Does every writer have the soul of Cope? no

maybe you need to get out of your house, or town more my dude
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Old February 13th, 2006, 09:07 AM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Third of a kind
now this here

this is a prime example of "the public" putting down something that they don't understand and cannot be apart of. thats the problem people who can't particpate in art always what to say what art is or isn't.


Who are you to determine if a blockbuster, or a burner has no artistic value. With ignorant statements like that you obviously are unaware of the aesthetic's of art in general. I'm not saying graffiti, i'm saying art because thats what it is. Sure not all of it is good, but are all paintings on canvases good? are all etchings made with the skill of rembrandt? Does every writer have the soul of Cope? no

maybe you need to get out of your house, or town more my dude
Cope gets alot of respect in NY! But there are some who said that Cope paid off the MTA just to paint a full train in his documentary!
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Old February 14th, 2006, 12:04 AM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Third of a kind
...this is a prime example of "the public" putting down something that they don't understand and cannot be apart of. thats the problem people who can't particpate in art always what to say what art is or isn't.
...
This is the classic claim made by those seeking to intellectualize crap into art. The claim is made, "If you don't like it, you don't understand it!" The reality is that common sense still applies. The reality is, "If it looks like crap, it is crap!" Graffiti on trains is worse than crap. It is vandalism. If a preference for graffiti-free trains marks me as a Philistine, I'll wear the label proudly.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 01:10 AM   #114
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I can't stand graffiti. Art my ass. Go graffiti some paper in your own house, while i ride a nice clean train.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 04:02 AM   #115
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Graffiti may appear as art but what graffiti is painted on makes it vandalism. You cannot paint on someone elses property without their permission. There are laws agaisnt it.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 09:56 AM   #116
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I have yet to see a Vancouver Skytrain car with outside graffiti, and I have been taking it every day for years. I don't know where you found that pic, but it looks like one of the employees did that (as the car was being prepped for painting for the new Translink logo, which would have resided in the area that is clear if it were complete). Cargo trains/cars are almost 100% covered in graffiti though...
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Old February 14th, 2006, 10:47 AM   #117
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dont you just love the graffiti`s?? its an art for me..
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Old February 14th, 2006, 11:05 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (((myx)))
dont you just love the graffiti`s?? its an art for me..
Here's some on Manila's commuter trains





and a bonus

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Old February 14th, 2006, 01:21 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine
This is the classic claim made by those seeking to intellectualize crap into art. The claim is made, "If you don't like it, you don't understand it!" The reality is that common sense still applies. The reality is, "If it looks like crap, it is crap!" Graffiti on trains is worse than crap. It is vandalism. If a preference for graffiti-free trains marks me as a Philistine, I'll wear the label proudly.
Hey Greg i told u allready u are a dickhead u dont remember ?

I dont know i found thi photo somewhere it it u Greg or is it some of ur friends??

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Old February 14th, 2006, 02:44 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine
This is the classic claim made by those seeking to intellectualize crap into art. The claim is made, "If you don't like it, you don't understand it!" The reality is that common sense still applies. The reality is, "If it looks like crap, it is crap!" Graffiti on trains is worse than crap. It is vandalism. If a preference for graffiti-free trains marks me as a Philistine, I'll wear the label proudly.

Apparently you didn't read or comprehend what I said. Miscomprehension is a sign of illiteracy

I and i'm sure no one else has a problem with your preference for Clean trains, but what I have a problem with is how you addressed all writers with ignorance and stupdity. Your probably the type who watches that old nun talk about what art is, or rely on a text books verbatim to make up your mind

you probably need to get out of the country or something man
later
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