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Introduction Graffiti and vandalism are a major blight on communities Vandalism can lead to important services such as public telephones being damaged so that they dont work or removed for example bus shelters to protect from further harm Vandalism can make the environment untidy and graffiti can be offensive All of these things contribute to an air of decline and can lead to people fearing crime more Acts of vandalism can include breaking windows smashing up payphones and graffiti Many incidents of vandalism and graffiti are not reported This is often because it is against private property and the victims do not consider it serious enough to tell the police or think that the police wont be able to do anything about it or find the culprit Sometimes the people who own the property for example the gas board are based a long way away and never see the damage to complain about it Vandalism and graffiti are a criminal offence under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 The penalty for vandalism and graffiti is a maximum fine of 500 and or 3 months in prison if the value of damage is less than 000 The court can also make a compensation order Possessing equipment with intent to cause damage is also an offence and if intent can be proven to the court spray paint would be included as such equipment Types of graffiti There are many different types of graffiti Tagging this is perhaps the most frequent type of graffiti People have their own signs or tags which identify them These are put in as many places as possible to show that the writer has been there to mark out their territory Pieces are the larger pictures more traditionally associated with graffiti These can have some artistic merit in the correct context Glass etching sometimes also called Dutch graffiti This is where people scratch into glass for example
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