Smart phones used to track graffiti vandals in Los Angeles

10:07, March 06, 2011      

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Law enforcement agencies are now using smart phones to track and arrest graffiti vandals in Los Angeles, a newspaper report said on Saturday.

The graffiti-tracking program, spearheaded by the Tracking and Automated Graffiti Removal System, or TAGRS, allows graffiti- cleaning crews equipped with smart phones to photograph the markings and upload them to a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) database, the Los Angeles Times said.

The photos are used to gather evidence for prosecution and restitution, the paper quoted city officials as saying.

Once the graffiti suspects' identities are discovered, the information is added to the TAGRS database and may eventually uncover incidents involving the same suspects, the paper said.

The LAPD launched a pilot project in 2009 in Van Nuys near Los Angeles, modeling its version on one run by the Orange County Sheriff's Department, according to the report.

The program is now anchored at four LAPD stations, Van Nuys, Hollenbeck, Central and Harbor, said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's spokeswoman Casey Hernandez.

Los Angeles spends about 10 million dollars a year cleaning up graffiti, Hernandez said.

Source: Xinhua
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