Are there any graffiti statistics available
The Western Australia Police collate and disseminate crime statistics for the State on their website.
WA Police crime statistics offence descriptions define graffiti as "property damage caused by the application of substances (e.g. paint, posters and/or plastic, metal or wood based compounds) to the surface of the property" (WA Police, 2004).
Property damage is "an act (excluding graffiti) or omission to do an act with the intent to destroy or damage property".
In addition to providing an offence description for graffiti, WA Police note that "most graffiti offences are committed against public property and the number of offences reported during a period can vary due to the strategies and practices adopted by some government agencies, local government authorities and private enterprise" (WA Police).
Overall graffiti statistics are problematic and their use, when available, should proceed with caution – graffiti statistics are too inconsistent and unreliable to be used as an accurate information source.
Using Graffiti Statistics
Levels of reporting Many individuals are proactive in addressing graffiti vandalism and remove ‘minor’ graffiti from their assets without reporting the incident.
Type of graffiti The type and frequency of graffiti often makes the recording of graffiti difficult. Given police resources and priorities, it is not practical for the police to record and investigate all graffiti incidents.
Frequency of graffiti Graffiti ‘tags’ are often placed several times, by the one vandal, within the same area. In some instances these ‘tags’ are being reported as one incident (i.e. one ‘tag’ placed several times) or as separate incidents (i.e. each ‘tag’ reported individually as a separate incident).