Margaret Quirk

Margaret Quirk

Minister for Corrective Services; Small Business

    Offenders come clean with public transport graffiti problem

    1/05/2008 12:00 AM

    Offenders are repaying their debt to society through a scheme to remove graffiti and repair the damage caused by vandals on public transport.


    The Department of Corrective Services’ Repay WA graffiti scheme supplies a team of supervised offenders each week to Southern Coast Transit.


    The offenders, who are on community-based orders, remove graffiti, repair upholstery and perform other detailing work on buses at Southern Coast Transit’s O’Connor depot.


    Corrective Services Minister Margaret Quirk said the aim of the scheme, which had operated since late February, was to get offenders convicted of graffiti and other property damage-related crimes to appreciate the effect of their reckless vandalism.


    “As well as getting offenders to do useful work for society, the project also enables them to gain skills in vehicle upholstery detailing and general and specific cleaning skills which can lead to job opportunities,” Ms Quirk said.


    “Often, all people need is a steady job and some community support to get them back on the straight and narrow and research shows that offenders who get a steady job have a lot less chance of re-offending.”


    The Minister said she wanted the new program expanded to cover at least one other Southern Coast Transit depot in the southern corridor in the next month. 


    “Repay WA is sound, commonsense philosophy in action,” she said.


    “Supervised community work saves taxpayers money and costs 10 times less than jailing offenders.”


    Community-based offenders contribute about 250,000 hours of community work each year. About 1,800 community work projects operate in WA at any one time, 1,400 in regional areas and 400 in the metropolitan area. 


    Minister's office -  9213 7000