'I've Got Better Things to Worry About': Police Perceptions of Graffiti and Street Art in a Large Mid-Atlantic City

Police Quarterly, Vol. 17(2), pp. 176-200, 2014

26 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2015

See all articles by Jeffrey Ian Ross

Jeffrey Ian Ross

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Benjamin Wright

University of Baltimore

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

The majority of scholarly research on graffiti and street art has examined this phenomenon in terms of its distribution and the nature of the perpetrators. Rarely has the law enforcement response been investigated. To better understand this neglected aspect, the investigators constructed a survey that they administered to a sample of officers in a large Mid-Atlantic police department to determine their attitudes, in particular their perceptions, regarding graffiti, street art, and perpetrators of this behavior. The survey takes into consideration important police-related variables and situational factors to provide a portrait of officer perceptions. The major finding indicates that the shift and race of police officers might have an influence on their decisions to stop, question, and arrest suspects on graffiti and street art vandalism-related charges. This is consistent with other studies of police perceptions of illegal behavior.

Keywords: police perceptions, police behavior, urban policing, street art, graffiti, police attitudes, officer perceptions, vandalism

JEL Classification: K14, K19, K39, K42, K49

Suggested Citation

Ross, Jeffrey Ian and Wright, Benjamin, 'I've Got Better Things to Worry About': Police Perceptions of Graffiti and Street Art in a Large Mid-Atlantic City (2014). Police Quarterly, Vol. 17(2), pp. 176-200, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2591432

Jeffrey Ian Ross (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

Benjamin Wright

University of Baltimore ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
United States

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