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Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has had enough of criminals who paint graffiti and commit other crimes against property owners.

Stanton has kicked off a pilot program to stop crimes against residents and neighborhoods.

Recent statistics reveal that the city removes graffiti at approximately 70,000 sites each year. About $2.5 million is spent by Neighborhood Services Department to fight graffiti, but the both the city and NSD have spent $6 million.

"My office has worked diligently with neighborhood activists, police departments, Neighborhood Services and the Prosecutor's Office to introduce a new pilot program in the Maryvale and Central City Police Precincts, which will allow registered neighborhood groups to invoke victim rights regarding graffiti crimes in the neighborhoods," Stanton explained. "Under this new pilot program, neighborhoods will now have the ability to tell a judge exactly how graffiti impacts their neighborhoods. This program is another tool to empower our neighborhoods and help them fight back."

Stanton's goal is to allow residents to participate in criminal proceedings and to help get stiffer penalties for lawbreakers.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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