Creating graffiti art avenues to mainstream social inclusion
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences
It is estimated that approximately 5% of young people aged 10-17 years are responsible for 55% of all recorded crime. This figure equates to a crime offending rate of 11 crimes per young person, of which 5% are violent crimes. Moreover, graffiti writing is one of the most common adolescent entry level offences committed and accounts for approximately one quarter of all juvenile crime. However, as concerning as these figures are, what is of growing concern to society is that recent research has revealed the existence of a three year trajectory from prolific 'nuisance' graffiti offender to serious violent offender. It is not surprising then that considerable effort has been expended on reducing graffiti proliferation and in deterring recidivist offending among adolescents and young adults. In this regard, the Western Australian Government has passed a raft of punitive penalties to deter graffiti offending, including fines of up to $36,000 and imprisonment of up to three years. It could be argued, however, that since graffiti is still present on the state‘s streets these punitive measures have had limited success to date. To better understand the graffiti deterrence issue this study asked 15 prolific graffiti offenders aged 15-25 years: What would stop you from graffiting? The consistently voiced response was: ―more legal graffiti-writing opportunities‖.