Many people who are against graffiti view it as an unwanted nuisance. They feel that vandalism hurts the community, and is a major crime that doesn’t receive enough recognition or punishment for. Graffiti vandalism of property is very costly for towns and cities. Graffiti vandalism costs schools, homes, owners, businesses, youth, and others more than 15 billion a year. This drives up insurance and taxes for everyone. Others feel that graffiti promotes further vandalism and more serious crimes. Many people are angry that there are not more consequences for graffiti. They have no room to understand graffiti as self-expression and they see graffiti not as an art, but filth.
Graffiti to others is considered the language of a subculture, and form of artistic expression. Graffiti for some provides a sense of belonging to the community. Other graffiti artists experience a thrill and rush from their art, because of the illegal aspect of getting caught. Graffiti is also a way to rebel against the community. Graffiti artists feel like instruments of artistic destruction, and figments of the times.
Regardless of how others view graffiti, it is still illegal. Some city and town councils are partially funding graffiti clean-ups or offering free graffiti removal kits to residents. They also have the young offenders serve community service to clean up graffiti. Other big cities are introducing more consistent penalties and prosecution. In an effort to reduce vandalism, many cities have designated walls or areas exclusively for use by graffiti artists. Some have suggested that this discourages petty vandalism yet encourages artists to take their time and produce great art, without worry of being caught or arrested for vandalism or trespassing.