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Volunteers asked to join graffiti battle

MEDIA RELEASE
21 November 2002

Volunteers asked to join graffiti battle

Graffiti vandalism is a community problem and Auckland City is calling on volunteers to help make the city graffiti free.

The new graffiti volunteer programme offers Aucklanders the chance to get actively involved in the council’s battle against graffiti.

As Auckland City’s manager of streetscape operations Surendra Dass explains, the volunteer programme involves four levels of involvement, from simply making a commitment to report graffiti to being actively involved in removing graffiti tags. Auckland City will supply the paint and brushes to individuals and groups that want to take responsibility for specific streets and/or neighbourhoods.

Over 100 shop owners have already been supplied with paint and brushes to keep their premises graffiti free.

Mr Dass says Aucklanders are recognising that Auckland City Council is serious about tackling the graffiti problem and as such are more willing to be proactive.

“Graffiti is everyone’s problem, not just the council’s. The establishment of this community based volunteer programme is part of a wider strategy to get the community actively involved in managing the graffiti problem in their neighbourhoods.”

A graffiti awareness programme has also been developed for use in primary schools. The two week programme, developed by Auckland City, aims to make children aware of the consequences of tagging and rewards them for adopting areas in their neighbourhood or street to keep clean.

Auckland primary schools will be sent information about the programme before Christmas, with the view of it being incorporated in to next year’s curriculum.

Councillor Noelene Raffills, chair of the council’s Law and Order Committee, says Auckland City’s comprehensive graffiti removal programme has been extremely successful.

“The volunteer programme is the next stage in the city’s fight against graffiti vandalism. Auckland City recognises that graffiti is an issue of concern for Aucklanders and is encouraged by their willingness to be actively involved in the battle,” she says.

Since its inception in October 2000, Auckland City Council’s Zero Tolerance graffiti programme has been responsible for the removal of 35,813 sites and apprehension of 33 graffiti vandals. She is optimistic that these two new initiatives will strengthen the graffiti programme by increasing the amount of reporting and removal of tags.

For more information about the volunteer and school graffiti programmes, please contact Auckland City Council on 379 2020.


ENDS

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