I’ve never understood why railway car are vandalized with graffiti. I always thought graffiti was a way for a gang to mark its territory.
The broken window theory was employed in New York and other cities in the late 80’s to curb crime. The theory is about addressing low-level crimes, like graffiti, litter, and broken windows in a timely fashion to send a message that crime will not be tolerated.
The broken window theory is about fixing problems when they are small to send a message that we care. It is to stop small problems from accumulating and turning into big problems. If we allow small problems to go unpunished and unaddressed, petty criminals think that’s ok and maybe they can get away with bigger crimes, so the theory goes.
Kitchener and Waterloo are considering a new bylaw, which will require private property owners to clean up offensive and hateful vandalism more quickly. The bylaw will give the bylaw officers more discretion when dealing with the property owners and will be dependent upon the nature of the graffiti itself.