Message to vandals: Not on our watch

Whoever plastered the Neponset Greenway with racist and homophobic graffiti this week should know: This neighborhood won’t tolerate your nonsense. State Police and the Boston Police Department are probing the case and it could very well result in serious charges.

And for good reason. This was not a victim-less crime.

The graffiti included swastikas and hateful words directed at gay people and African-Americans. The vandals also showed a disregard for the work of real artists who painstakingly created beautiful murals along the bike path. It cost the state money and time to clean up the mess.

In this season of budget cuts, we are all going to have to step up to make sure that the greenway and other state parks and playgrounds don’t become a regular stop for vandals or other criminal elements. Lt. Kevin Calnan, who works out of the State Police barracks in Milton and shares jurisdiction of the Greenway, says that his troopers are being asked to cover more ground with fewer resources. They need our help to stay on top of this resource and to take common sense steps to prevent trouble.

This weekend, another group of vandals trashed Fort Independence at Castle Island. There were also reports of new graffiti splashed around Pope John Paul II Park.

People walking the parks and bike trail should have their cell phones handy to call in suspicious activity or public drinking. The number to call if you spot something amiss : 9-1-1. Anyone who has information about the punks who desecrated the greenway should call the State Police in Milton at 617-698-5840.