Cop Claims Twitter Has Replaced Graffiti

Twitter graffiti.
Photo: Vincent Macaluso, Flickr.

Why tag it, when you could tweet it? That’s a question more and more young people are asking themselves these days, according to Police Scotland’s chief constable, Stephen House. At a recent gathering of the Scottish Police Authority, he claimed that offensive commentary that would typically find expression in graffiti and street art is increasingly being articulated on social media instead, according to the Independent.

“Social media in some instances has replaced graffiti as a way of making your views heard,” House said. “We have had to deal with offensive comments made on Twitter. My view is that 10 to 15 years ago, that would have been sprayed on the side of a building.”

House cited statistics showing a dramatic decrease in vandalism in Scotland in recent years. Since 2009–10, instances of graffiti, vandalism, malicious damage, and similar offenses, has dropped by half, from 28,146 between April 2009 and June 2010, to 13,453 incidents during the same period in 2013–14.

“You can correlate that with things like the general view that youth fitness is not where it was,” he added. “Why? Because they are not out playing football to all hours of the day and night. They are inside on the Xbox. But if they are not outside, they are not doing the damage.”

Perhaps House could talk some sense into the New York City assemblyman trying to get a graffiti kids’ toy banned (see “New York Politician Wants Kids’ Graffiti Toy Banned“).

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