The NSW Graffiti Hotline will make it easier to report graffiti in NSW, which will result in faster clean ups.”

“Anyone can phone the hotline to report graffiti in NSW and callers can remain anonymous if they are concerned for their privacy and safety,” Mr Fraser said.

“After receiving a report, hotline operators will send the information to the Government agency or local council responsible for cleaning it up.”

Mr Fraser ridiculed the notion that taggers and others who deface property without permission were “artists”.

“They might like to think of themselves as artists, but they are really vandals who show no respect for other people’s property,” Mr Fraser said.

Mr Fraser said the hotline delivered on an election promise and would form a key part of the NSW Government’s strategy to reduce the impact of graffiti on local communities.

The O’Farrell Government has also funded clean-up squads run by Rotary and other community groups and is working with local councils on reducing graffiti.

“Each year, graffiti attacks cost the state more than $100 million, and State Rail alone spends more than $50 million alone cleaning up trains,” Mr Fraser said.

“This is money the Government would prefer to be spending on our schools, libraries and roads.

“Graffiti is a scourge on our community and the cause of great anger for people who take pride in their surroundings.”

The Graffiti Hotline will also help authorities focus on locations that most often under attack


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Police offer reward

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A $500 reward will be introduced for people who report graffiti vandals in an attempt to curb the scourge, which costs South Australian ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

The State Government says the money will be handed over to people whose information leads to convictions.

Attorney-General John Rau says vandals often have distinct tags that make them identifiable, and many people know who they are.

He says the cost of removing graffiti is a huge burden on councils and businesses.

“Council rates in every local government area in South Australia are being inflated to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up the mess,” he said.

“These people as I understand it regard these tags as, if you like, a signature. They put them around the place in the same was as a dog makes a mark.

“I don’t care where they live, in what suburb. I don’t care what sort of job they’ve got or whether they’ve got a job. They’re idiots.”

The Australian Institute of Criminology estimates the cost of graffiti vandalism at $300 million a year nationally.

The Graffiti Rewards Program follow the introduction of increased maximum penalties for those caught illegally using spray cans of up to $5000 or a year in prison.

Police say there has been a slight reduction in graffiti vandalism in the past year.

 


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