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City’s graffiti removal programme saves $200,000

Auckland City’s graffiti removal programme saves $200,000

Auckland City Council’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ graffiti programme - enjoying its second anniversary today - has saved ratepayers $200,000 since its inception in October 2000 as well as ending the city’s graffiti plague.

The council’s graffiti removal bill decreased from $845,000 in 2000 to $645,000 for the year ending October 2002.

In its two years of operation, the programme has been responsible for the eradication of graffiti tags from more than 34,000 sites and apprehension of 33 graffiti vandals, effectively ending the visual graffiti in the city.

Councillor Noelene Raffills, chair of the council’s Law and Order Committee, describes the programme as “extremely successful.”

“Not only has it been praised by Auckland residents and copied by the Brisbane City Council, it is now being championed by the Minister for Justice and Foreign Affairs, Phil Goff, as the model for a national anti-graffiti programme.”

Auckland City’s graffiti strategy comprises three main elements – eradication, prevention and education.

The tags are painted out using reprocessed paint, recycled from inorganic collections held in the wider Auckland area - achieving the double win of graffiti control and a cleaner environment.

A unique database, containing more than 2,000 pictures of graffiti attacks, is helping to build a profile of graffiti vandals and their movements.

Offenders are being held accountable and appropriate reparation is being sought. Young offenders are given a variety of community service projects to work off their debt and make agreements not to offend again.

In one case now before the courts, the council is seeking $20,000 in reparation from the alleged offender.

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