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

Since July 2014, 53 people charged with graffiti-related crimes, according to a report in The Detroit Free Press. Twelve of those went to jail and some have had to clean up their own work under community service.

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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.

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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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