Bronx couple claims vandals are tagging graffiti during COVID-19 crisis; NYPD sees increase in complaints
A couple in the Bronx claims vandals are out and about during the coronavirus pandemic, and t the proof is in the graffiti that’s left behind.
Photos of the Norwood section of the Bronx were taken by the husband and wife team behind ‘Guerinos Against Graffiti.’
They say that while New York is on pause, some are still leaving home to tag the neighborhood.
“We are facing an epidemic right now, but then to go outside for essentials and then to look at the properties looking so disgusting, it's depressing,” said Guerinos Against Graffiti enforcer Sirio Guerino.
According to the NYPD, officers at the 52nd Precinct made five graffiti-related arrests and have received 26 complaints so far this year.
That number up from 2019, when one person was arrested and 23 complaints were filed at the same time. Officers tell News 12 that the Explorer and Auxiliary programs helped the community clean-ups in the past, but that during the coronavirus pandemic, both are suspended.
Representatives from the Jerome Gun Hill Business Improvement District say they have not received any recent complaints about graffiti in the area.
They responded to News 12’s request for comment saying, “We appreciate the notification about the uptick in incidents of graffiti as a result of COVID-19 which unfortunately created the perfect storm of shuttered storefronts and young people being forced to stay home from school. We will notify the City via 311 to request the graffiti be removed."
The NYPD is also encouraging New Yorkers to call 311 or 911 to report any spray paint that shouldn’t be there.