Document Type

Journal Article


Vathek Publishing


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Psychology and Social Science / Lifespan Resilience Research Group




This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of: Taylor, M. F., & Khan, U. (2012). Graffiti Offenders' Patterns of Desistance from, and Persistence in, Crime: New Insights into Reducing Recidivist Offending. The Police Journal, 85(0), 5-28. Copyright 2012 The Police Journal. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications here


While graffiti is a gateway crime towards more serious criminal offending, little is known about graffitists' patterns of desistance from, and persistence in, crime. This paper addresses this knowledge shortfall through an examination of the Western Australian Police Information Management System (IMS) database for three age-groups (i.e. preteens, adolescents, adults) and three categories of graffiti offenders (Early Desisters, Limited Persisters, Chronic Persisters). Descriptive and chi-squared statistics reveal that: i) nearly three-quarters of all of the 667 preteen, adolescent and adult graffiti offenders desisted from further offending after their first or second contact with police; ii) the mainly adolescent cohort of Limited Persister offenders account for the majority of all recorded violent crime; and c) most graffiti offenders are processed through the court system for both their graffiti and non-graffiti-related offences. The implications for designing recidivist intervention programmes that target offenders at the different stages of their offending are discussed.

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