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GRAFFITI BLITZ TAKES VANDALS TO THE CLEANERS

Published date: Sunday, 21 October 2018

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Community heroes are set to deliver a graffiti wipeout at hundreds of sites across the state as part of Graffiti Removal Day.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said volunteers removed over 30,000 square metres of graffiti from 428 sites last year – an area roughly the same size as almost four rugby league fields.

“In NSW alone, graffiti costs the government and the community over $300 million a year in clean-up costs, money that should be spent on roads, schools and hospitals. That’s why the government supports this annual day of action to give communities a practical and fun way to show they love where they live,” Mr Speakman said.

“Volunteers will be hard at work in all corners of the state blasting, scrubbing, painting and cleaning vandalised public and private property, to send a clear message to taggers that community pride prevails over senseless vandalism.”

The largest Graffiti Removal Day site this year is Girraween with 80 volunteers removing 780 square metres of graffiti. Lake Macquarie Local Government Area has the highest number of locations with 55 sites. Other major clean-ups are expected at Cronulla, Toongabbie, Emu Plains and Oatley.

Apart from local residents, volunteers include scouts, girl guides, Air Force cadets, Rotary clubs and men’s sheds, as well as staff from NSW Police, Sydney Trains, Roads and Maritime Services and local councils.

Police Minister Troy Grant praised the community spirit of the anti-graffiti brigade for rolling up their sleeves to rid neighbourhoods of vandalism.

“Graffiti can make people feel unsafe in their communities, which is the last thing we want, so we need locals to be our eyes and ears and report graffiti all year round,” Mr Grant said.

Mr Grant said 368 people were found guilty of a graffiti offence in 2017-18, including two people who received a custodial sentence.

“We’re putting vandals on notice that police, businesses and the community won’t tolerate their reckless destruction of property. We will remove their ugly tags and hold them to account," Mr Grant said.

For more information on how your community can help go to: www.graffitiremovalday.org.au