Surf City cracks down on taggers while they run rampant in Santa Ana

Graffiti in Santa Ana

The City of Huntington Beach will be voting tonight on “a proposal Monday that would give police the power to fine anyone carrying spray paint cans in public parks, playgrounds and beaches — even if they don’t have the intent to commit vandalism,” according to the O.C. Register.

What a great idea! Why isn’t the City of Santa Ana implementing such measures? We have a lot more graffiti in our town than H.B. does.

“The ordinance would also allow officers to cite minors who possess spray paint, marking or etching tools between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. – the most frequent time frame in which graffiti is applied, according to a staff report by police Chief Ken Small.”

But this is only one tool in an array of ordinances being employed by the Surf City. Others include:

  • A law that rewards those who provide information leading to the conviction of anyone leaving graffiti on public or private property.
  • The city also holds the parents of minors caught tagging accountable. Fines can range from $500 to $1,000.

And the “new ordinance would also require retailers to keep aerosol spray paint cans in a secure place, possibly a caged area to prevent theft and make the items less accessible to potential taggers, the staff report said.”

Again, why isn’t the City of Santa Ana getting tough on graffiti? We are supposed to be “Orange County’s Downtown,” but instead our city looks like Orange County’s slum at times. I have seen graffiti recently up and down the Main St. corridor, even in the northern part of town, by the Mainplace Mall.

Is there some reason why the Santa Ana City Clowncil is asleep at the wheel with regards to graffiti?

The Santa Ana Police Department does have a web page devoted to graffiti. There you will find that Santa Ana offers “a Graffiti Reward Program in the amount of $500 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of suspects for tagging or graffiti related vandalism. ” That is a much lower reward than what H.B. offers.

The web page also includes a report on the police department’s anti-graffiti efforts. There you can find out just how weak Santa Ana’s anti-graffiti ordinances are.

For example, Santa Ana has much weaker penalties in place for taggers, “Most arrestees are juveniles and most arrests are for misdemeanor vandalism (damage below $400). As a result, the most common sanction administered by the Juvenile Court is home probation.” Why doesn’t the Santa Ana Clowncil put some teeth in their anti-graffiti ordinance? H.B. has much higher fines.

Santa Ana “prohibits the sale of aerosol cans of paint, etching devices, and certain markers to persons under 18 years of age.” But why don’t they insist on caging these supplies like H.B. is proposing to? You can walk into any Staples store, and there is one in Santa Ana on 17th and another in Orange, but nearby on Main St., just north of the Mainplace Mall, and buy or steal Sharpie permanent markers, which are popular amongst taggers.

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.