Together we can eliminate the crimes of graffiti and vandalism, writes Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.
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Council is committed to raising awareness amongst residents to help to put a stop to graffiti, which is why we’ve teamed up with Crime Stoppers in a new Cost of Crime campaign. I’m a big believer in the broken window theory, that is, by quickly removing and remediating assets vandalised with graffiti, we are discouraging the behaviour and showing pride in our clean and green city. This partnership sends a strong message to graffiti vandals that we will not tolerate this city being vandalised.
This campaign will educate residents on the cost of graffiti to the community through 10 popup events in community spaces this year. It will demonstrate the cost of vandalism and graffiti to the community by attaching price tags to local assets revealing the estimated repair cost if they were to be defaced. So I expect it will generate discussion among residents and encourage people to report graffiti and graffiti offenders to Crime Stoppers.
In addition to the Cost of Crime campaign, Council delivers a multi-faceted graffiti management program. More than 91,800 square metres of graffiti have been removed by Council this financial year alone, demonstrating the prevalence of the issue in the community. The Taskforce Against Graffiti is a partnership between Council and the Queensland Police Service to increase intelligence-sharing to reduce graffiti by tackling the problem head-on and arresting offenders, rather than just removing it. The program incorporates 15 graffiti removal crews and has seen 494 offenders charged with 18,117 offences since it began in 2008.
Council also works with the Department of Justice Attorney-General by providing opportunities for youth on Community Service Orders to remove graffiti from Council assets. Education programs are run in both primary and secondary schools so students can learn first-hand about the damage and risks associated with graffiti. The project has so far been run at 226 schools with 168 programs being delivered to over 14,000 students.
Council is also focused on prevention, with more than 10 murals being installed at graffiti problem areas over the last 12 months through partnerships with local artists and at-risk youth. I want to ensure we maintain our friendly, safe neighbourhoods for visitors and the community.
I am pleased to confirm our ongoing partnership with Crime Stoppers, with a grant of $750,000 over three years to assist in the delivery of community awareness campaigns such as these. So remember, if you spot offenders or instances of graffiti, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit their website www.crimestoppers.com.au to make a report.
For more information on the Cost of Crime campaign and the TAG program, visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au or call Council on 07 3403 8888.