A rapid response team of young offenders - carrying out court ordered community work to clean up graffiti vandalism - is to be expanded.
The team has been working for the past year to provide urgent assistance in repairing graffiti to schools, local government and other community organisations.
Considerable graffiti repair work has been carried out by young offenders on community service orders, co-ordinated by the Youth Justice Bureau. One example was the re-painting of the entrance to Perth Oval. Many suburban bus shelters, vandalised by graffiti, have been repainted by young offenders.
Youth Justice Minister Eric Ripper said today State Government policy for the past two years has been for young offenders to be increasingly involved in repairing the damage caused by juvenile crime.
Under the Law and Order policy announced yesterday by Premier Carmen Lawrence, the State Government would provide grants to local community groups for urban art projects to provide a legal outlet for graffiti painters.
Penalties for vandalism would be increased and a new offence of unlawfully carrying graffiti implements, such as spray cans of paint, would be created.
"The State Opposition's sudden discovery that people are concerned about graffiti, and that young offenders should help clean it up, demonstrates just how behind the state of play they really are," Mr Ripper said.
"Nevertheless, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and it is gratifying to see the Opposition endorsing Government policy."