Editorial: Fight against graffiti scourge

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I hate graffiti.

It's a scourge in our community and I cannot understand why anyone would want to deface someone else's property.

But it seems there are brainless idiots who think it's okay to vandalise property they don't own and it's a shame we have to put up with them in the beautiful spot we live in.

It doesn't do our city's reputation any good.

And in the fight against graffiti, there's good and bad news, as this paper reported on Tuesday.

The good news is graffiti has reached a three-year low in Tauranga. There were 7900 tags removed from council property last year - 1575 fewer than the year before, representing a 17 per cent drop.

This achievement deserves special mention and is a credit to city anti-graffiti chief Jane Denton and everyone else involved in identifying and removing tags, and prosecuting most offenders, most of whom are males aged 14-20.

The city is taking a proactive approach with contractors promptly removing graffiti from council property and electricity boxes and cabinets. This allows a blanket approach and quickly wipes out the disgraceful marks left by taggers.

The bad news is the staggering cost of graffiti. It costs ratepayers on average more than $16,000 a month to tackle this problem, with city officials recovering just a fraction of the cost from offenders.

Tauranga has made progress, but the problem still remains and is an unacceptable financial burden on ratepayers.

Why should ratepayers have to spend money cleaning up after these people?

They should be made to pay it back or their parents should be held accountable.

Age restrictions on buying spray cans are helping but taggers are asking older people to obtain their cans.

Let's keep the pressure on this important issue by reporting tagging and quickly addressing it.

Offenders must continue to be prosecuted and dealt with harshly and people selling spray cans need to continue being vigilant.

I doubt Tauranga and the Western Bay will ever be graffiti free, but we cannot give up the fight.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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