Graffiti a cost to community as people urged to report offenders

A COMMUNITY approach is needed to stamp out graffiti and tagging across the city, according to the Ballarat community safety committee. 

Graffiti is a cost to the community.

Graffiti is a cost to the community.

In the past two days, a spate of graffiti has occurred with fences, bus stops, signs, poles, power poles and letter boxes tagged in red along Lydiard Street and Main Road. 

City of Ballarat community safety committee chair, councillor Des Hudson, said graffiti and tagging was an ongoing issue in the area. 

“It is extremely disappointing that people are out there marking and destroying property that belongs to individuals,” he said. “And if it is public property, then they are essentially destroying their own property as a citizen.”

Cr Hudson said part of the motivation for taggers was the recognition of their name – or tag – in public spaces. 

“The most effective approach is to clean the graffiti immediately to reduce the chances of public recognition of the tag,” he said. Cr Hudson said it was particularly important graffiti along entrances into Ballarat and main roads was cleaned immediately. 

“Graffiti has the ability to paint a picture that an area is unsafe or untidy, so we need to be especially mindful along entrances into Ballarat of what picture we are presenting to people,” he said.

Cr Hudson said Operation Centaur, a police anti-graffiti initiative, was still in force, with police regularly reporting back to the safety committee.

He said the approach to combating graffiti and vandalism continued to be a collaboration of police playing an investigative role in reducing the crime and the council clearing up the damage. 

“The council spends a significant amount of money every year, replacing items that are deliberately damaged. This money which could be much better spent on new assets across the city,”

But, he said the community also needed to be active in the fight against graffiti and vandalism. 

“If you see somebody in the act, immediately call police,” he said. “Pay attention to their physical appearance and what clothing they are wearing and anything distinctive which may assist police.”

melissa.cunningham@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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