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What To Do About Downtown Graffiti?

Graffiti litters the downtown area. Shelton officials discuss how to remedy the situation. What do you think?

, Shelton officials have been responding to complaints of excessive graffiti in the downtown area, particularly along the Riverwalk and by the Birmingham condominium building. While encourage the use of surveillance cameras, other ideas for dealing with the problem were discussed at the Citizens Advisory Board's May meeting.

According to meeting minutes, police chief Joel Hurliman reported that arrests made in relation to graffiti have had little impact in the courts, making the need for neighborhood watch systems and security personnel more urgent. The Birmingham residents have bought their own video surveillance system that is monitored by their association president.

"My idea was that we paint over it or clean it rather quickly. The easiest thing to do is to paint over it and the state does a pretty good job at it," Hurliman said.

He added that Birmingham tenants can speed up the process by approaching the state themselves and getting clearance to paint over graffiti, but that Shelton officials are more keen on cleaning it off altogether.

The Board also suggested calling on the Lower Naugatuck Valley Arts Council about  "controlled graffiti," the idea being that if something nice was already painted on city property, it might deter vandals from spraying surfaces.

"They looked at research about some areas where people put up walls and let them do really artistic graffiti and supposedly that has an effect if it’s really nice," Hurliman said. "If we had some walls put up where people could that, it would certainly be an interesting."

, the CT Post reported that new graffiti was discovered on light poles along the Riverwalk and the Shelton Farmer's Market building. Alderman John "Jack" Finn, who submitted the pictures in the media gallery, said many city officials were "outraged by it."

"Now it's months later and there still hasn't been a real effort to remedy the situation," Finn said. He added that he feels there should be more urgency in the matter, given the fact that the downtown area will soon be expanding with the addition of the 250-unit Avalon apartment complex and continued revitalization efforts.

How should the city go about taking care of existing graffiti and deterring vandals from further crime?

Lisbeth Condo June 05, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Give the vandals an area where they CAN paint with specific criteria for what is acceptable. Until that time, graffitti is NOT art and the persons are NOT artists.
Dick Skudlarek June 05, 2012 at 12:55 PM
These jerks won't be deterred until the law is enforced and the "artists" are fined as well as made to restore the damage they cause.
Not Telling June 06, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Graffiti is not news, it's everywhere, all over the place. I thought this was a joke.
Alex June 06, 2012 at 01:12 AM
None of the solutions offered are going to help. I do not write myself, but I've been interested in graffiti and the thought process that is associated with it. People will paint on the wall unless its their mural or tag on it, a legal wall will be labeled for "toys" (inexperienced writers or people with no guts). Also painting over it or blasting it will just waste money because people will write over it again.
Christine June 06, 2012 at 06:44 PM
If the walls are painted over, the "artists" (using the term loosely), will just vandalize it again. Graffiti is everywhere, even in our backwoods area on the rocks/trees. We need the city to enforce a strict, anti-graffiti law, heavy fines (i.e. $1,000 + if caught the first time), etc. Sounds impossible, but the city/law enforcement needs to stop coddling these individuals with slaps on the wrist, only to do it again! The graffiti is ruining a lot of nice areas, the paints killing the environment, etc....very sad!
GraffitiDoesntDie December 28, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Give them an area to express THEIR art.. Since the 80's graffiti been getting more and more popular and it IS considered art an extent. Not anyone can do it.. Theres writers that draw it everyday in their sketch books and mastered it and paint murals. On the other hand there's some who tag up buildings and vacant walls as their way of expressing and wanting to get better. Further more if a wall(s) where their aloud to do so in such areas where there isn't eye view to the public I'm sure there wouldn't be vandalizing going on in that matter. Give them a wall... It'll help. and give them a chance.. There's alot of money to be made in the graffiti world this would be a way to help start a new form of progression. Im a tattoo artist now and graffiti was my gateway.

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