Police Hope to Use Social Media to Track Downtown Graffiti Artists

LITTLE ROCK, AR – The landscape of Little Rock taking a turn for the better but for some it’s turning into a canvas of an unwanted art gallery.

In downtown Little Rock folks argue a growing trend of graffiti has persisted and something needs to be done.

Little Rock Police are hoping to use social media to track the taggers.

Words scribbled on walls and blue and green blobs are popping up across downtown Little Rock.

Whether it’s a street sign, a vacant building or a place open for business some would say there’s a growing trend.

President of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, Sharon Welch-Blair says their group is well aware.

“Devalues our property all the way around,” she said. “When you see graffiti all over the place you think this is not an area that I want to be in. It makes people uncomfortable.”

Mary King, who works at Fuller and Son Hardware in downtown, says a steady flow of business and property owners continue to visit their store looking for ways to cover up the unwanted art.

Because of that she has a strict policy when it comes to selling spray paint.

“It’s upsetting that people vandalize other people’s property,” King said. “We don’t want to enable them to make our city look bad.”

But that bad impression isn’t just limited to our city.

Welch-Blair explained, “There are groups that are trying to out do each other from an art standpoint across the nation.”

At this week’s Downtown Neighborhood Association meeting the Little Rock Police Department shared how they’re trying to put a stop to the art show.

“They’ll hit it with a  picture and put it up on Instagram,” Capt. Davis shared. “Once we can start finding IP addresses and things like that we can start tracing it back.”

The department share that the art is not so much gang related but more of a competition between people all over the country.

Taggers will hit a building, wall or street sign, take a picture of it and post it to the picture sharing site, Instagram.

“Is it a pain absolutely,” he said. “Is it a priority for us? Yes, because it’s an eyesore for the community and we’re trying to catch them.”

If you see graffiti pop up your encouraged to call Little Rock’s 3-1-1 line and report it.

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