Hundreds of young graffiti offenders in the metropolitan area will be required to remove graffiti marked or tagged on property, after the State Government today announced plans to expand the successful Graffiti Clean-up Pilot Program.
Police Minister Rob Johnson said the program, trialled in Joondalup and Victoria Park last year, had led to the clean-up of about 430 sites.
Mr Johnson said the new Juvenile Clean-up Referral Program would be rolled out across the metropolitan area and he urged local governments and businesses to partner in providing graffiti-vandalised assets for clean-up.
The City of Gosnells, Telstra and Water Corporation are the first local governments and organisations to join the initiative.
“Graffiti vandalism is a crime that costs the Western Australian community millions of dollars each year to clean up,” the Minister said.
“It doesn’t just damage public and private property - it also damages the community’s sense of safety and security.
“Last year’s trial involved about 80 juveniles cleaning an average of seven sites each, which enabled them to become aware of the difficulty and removal costs associated with graffiti vandalism.
“The program will also connect its young participants with trade-based professionals, providing them with a range of skills that may lead to future career options and steering them away from a life of crime.”
The Juvenile Clean-up Referral Program will involve juvenile offenders who have been referred to the Department of Corrective Services’ juvenile justice teams.
Mr Johnson said the program held young graffiti offenders accountable for their actions, which was an objective of the State Government’s Tough on Graffiti strategy.
The Minister said the Government was taking the issue of graffiti seriously, with WA Police appointing two dedicated graffiti inquiry officers in every metropolitan policing district.
These 14 police officers deal with graffiti referrals and organise operations to catch graffiti vandals.
The Government has also doubled the penalties for graffiti vandals. Offenders now face up to two years in jail or a $24,000 fine.
For more information on the Government’s Tough on Graffiti strategy, visit the Goodbye Graffiti website at http://www.goodbyegraffiti.wa.gov.au
To report graffiti vandalism for removal activity, contact the Goodbye Graffiti hotline on 1800 44 22 55.
Minister's office - 9222 9211