Middle Village in Queens is struggling with an ongoing graffiti problem. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
You know your neighborhood has a graffiti problem when even the local councilwoman's office has been hit.
"It doesn't look good for her. You know, its not good for the neighborhood," said one resident.
The wall outside Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley's office was vandalized about a week and a half ago, but some people who live and work in Middle Village believe it's a sign of the times.
They say they've noticed a lot more graffiti in the neighborhood in recent months and it is not just public or commercial property being vandalized.
"I think it's getting worse. I've been working here for 40 years and I've seen the neighborhood little by little deteriorating," said another resident.
One overpass along the Long Island Expressway had graffiti on the walkway, poles and the walls. This is a popular spot for vandals, but driving through the neighborhood NY1 also noticed a number of garages and fences that were tagged with graffiti. Police say the 104th Precinct has received seven 911 calls and five 311 calls relating to graffiti, resulting in three arrests.
"I think it's terrible," said John Killcommons from Juniper Park Civic Association. "It's a real disgrace for a great neighborhood like this."
Community activists like Killcommons are calling on the city and Councilwoman Crowley to do more to address the issue. Through a statement, Crowley shot back, quote, "I have a long-standing commitment to the removal of graffiti in my district; any suggestion otherwise is disingenuous. As soon as my district office was vandalized by graffiti, I notified the police department and the city's graffiti removal unit."
Crowley went on to say that her office is working with a private contractor to remove the graffiti, and come spring when the city's graffiti removal street teams are back on the street she will work with them to ensure that Middle Village is a priority. Some residents will be holding her to that promise because to hear them tell it, the problem is getting out of hand.