Big drop in graffiti bill

18/Jan/2011

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Volunteer Tim Oldham cleaning graffiti while security patrol officer Jeannetta makes a report. Volunteer Tim Oldham cleaning graffiti while security patrol officer Jeannetta makes a report.

Last year, the council paid $580,000 to remove the eyesores compared with nearly $900,000 in 2009.

Mayor David Boothman said a big factor prompting a drop in graffiti reports was the city’s “hot spot” patrols.

“The patrols use technology and information sharing intelligence with the WA Police via regular meetings and joint operations,” he said.

“Security officers are on the beat patrolling areas of interest and are highly visible, which deters potential taggers.”

Rather than being limited to specific areas, Cr Boothman said graffiti was “a city-wide problem” with bus stops some of the most frequent targets.

Last week, the State Government announced plans to expand its Graffiti Clean-Up pilot program that calls on young graffiti offenders in the metro area to remove their own tags and graffiti.

The City of Gosnells is already part of the program, which led to the clean up of more than 430 sites last year.

Police Minister Rob Johnson has urged local governments and businesses to contribute to the program by offering assets vandalised by graffiti for clean up.

Cr Boothman said the City supported moves for vandals to be personally responsible to clean up graffiti and it now had four programs in place to fight the problem including ‘Wipeout Graffiti’.

The initiative encourages all residents to clear graffiti scrawls on signs and metal poles by using removal wipes if possible..

“The City is always on the look out for more volunteers to assist in the removal of unsightly graffiti from our streets,” Cr Boothman said.

The current penalties for graffiti vandalism are up to two years’ jail or a $24,000 fine.


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