Police: Increased graffiti in South Burlington doesn’t indicate gang activity

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT
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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Police in South Burlington say a recent uptick in graffiti in the city doesn’t appear to be related to more serious crimes or increased gang activity.

Graffiti is visible all over buildings, fences, street signs and utility boxes around the city.

Though the increase might be alarming, police say it’s mostly a seasonal issue.

They also say it isn’t an indication of more serious crimes or increased gang activity.

“You know graffiti, in general, is a perennial crime. We don’t see any of it in the winter simply because the materials that are used don’t really cooperate when it’s below zero,” South Burlington Police Chief Shawn Burke said. “I definitely wouldn’t characterize it as tagging or anything suggests that it’s territory or there’s a group that’s trying to occupy. What we see are street artists and their canvas, unfortunately, is private property that’s owned by others. And it is a criminal act but it’s nothing at all that I would characterize as being gang-related.”

Although graffiti is a crime, the chief says it’s a difficult one to police.

He says if you notice graffiti on your property, you should remove it as quickly as possible so others don’t follow suit and leave their own marks.

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