- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

DETROIT (AP) - Police and prosecutors have stepped up efforts to crack down on graffiti in Detroit.

The Detroit Free Press reports (https://on.freep.com/1NATiqQ ) that since July 2014 there have been 53 people charged with graffiti-related crimes. Twelve of those went to jail and some have had to clean up their own work under community service.

Mayor’s spokesman John Roach says the emphasis on graffiti comes as the city’s General Services department has taken down more than 17,000 illegal tags. Detroit also has issued tickets to building owners who leave unsanctioned graffiti on their walls.

Detroit police Sgt. Rebecca McKay says authorities are “no longer turning a blind eye to illegal graffiti.”

Those charged include graffiti artist Shepard Fairey, who is awaiting trial. His lawyer says prosecutors offered no proof Fairey did the tagging.

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, https://www.freep.com

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