Now, HRM (the Halifax Regional Municipality) has launched a web site to help residents realize the seriousness of the problem, and offer solutions. The city invites people to call 911 when spotting graffiti in progress. It stresses the three Rs -- record, report, and remove. That is, take a picture of it (done), tell the authorities, and clean up the mess so these miscreants can't get the satisfaction of having their colleagues spot their handiwork around the city.
The site also gives tips for the media, including:
- Avoid showing graffiti as it only gives more fame to the person who did it. If graffiti must be shown, only use one small unrecognizable area, or ensure the background of graffiti be slightly out-of-focus to distort any tags. It can also be photographed at an angle that makes it illegible.
- Please report not only on the problem, but the positive steps being taken.
- Never mention vandals by their tag names in stories.
- Never use negative phrases to describe graffiti writers. This will further alienate them from the community and entrench them deeper into the graffiti subculture.
- Do not refer to the graffiti writer as an "artist".
Let's get this mess cleaned up and kept under control, if it can't be outright eliminated. If talentless hoodlums want to pretend they're famous and important by scribbling nonsense in a public space -- let them put down the markers and spraypaint, and start a blog.