According to The Guardian, the NYPD has reported a "sharp rise in complaints about graffiti compared to last year," with 8,635 complaints as of mid-October, compared to only 6,947 in 2013, but the reasons why may not be as clear as the numbers.
Matt Levy, a street art tour guide, sarcastically asked The Guardian if they were "insinuating that the NYPD inflates statistics so that it can get a tougher griphold on whatever their internal memo says?" Others suggest that while graffiti and street art are becoming more mainstream, the spike in complaints (if legit) could be chalked up to "police and gentrifiers resisting a growing art form." No matter the real reason, the fact remains that there are more complaints in the books, which means that the NYPD will have to do things to show that they are trying to solve the "problem."
Last year there was an alleged manhunt for Banksy during his "Better Out Than In" residency, and there were reports that Invader was nabbed on the Lower East Side. More recently COST was arrested for wheatpasting and the cops posed happily with the materials they confiscated from his vehicle. Also last year we saw more graffiti bombed subway cars than usual by less-famous writers, but as far as we know they were never caught.
[via The Guardian]