April 20, 2011 By Christian Murray
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and members of Police Precinct 108 told a neighborhood group last week that they are combating this neighborhood’s graffiti problem.
Police Lt. Mark Wachter told members of the United 40s Civic Association last Thursday that the 108 Police Precinct had racked up the second highest number of graffiti arrests among the NYPD’s 76 precincts. He said the precinct, which covers Sunnyside/Woodside and LIC, had made 153 arrests so far this year, up from 24 arrests over the same period in 2010.
Van Bramer said that his office is working with the 108 Police Precinct in sharing criminal/graffiti intelligence. He added that whenever graffiti is removed via his graffiti program, the tags and locations are then submitted to the 108.
Van Bramer said his office regularly sends out clean-up crews to take care of some specific streets. Those streets/avenues are 48th Ave., 47th Ave., Queens Blvd., Greenpoint Ave., and Skillman Ave. His office also sends out a crew to clean graffiti that is reported to his office via his graffiti hotline. That number is 718-383-9566 ext 3.
“The 108 knows many of the people who are doing this and are able to match the tags,” Van Bramer said, adding that the 108 Police Precinct is also sharing its intelligence with adjacent precincts that come across the same perpetrators.
Lt. Wachter said that residents should call 911 if they see someone actually doing the crime, adding that there is a $500 reward if the call leads to an arrest.
But many attendees at the meeting had their doubts that the arrests would be much of a deterrent.
Lt. Wachter said that the precinct generally gets about an 80% conviction rate, with about one/third of those arrested receiving jail time. He said on average those who get jail time are in for 4 or 5 days.