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Manukau takes tough line on graffiti

Manukau takes tough line on graffiti

Manukau City Council is taking the initiative to have a national debate on how councils can combat graffiti.

The council wants a tough stance taken on graffiti with a national zero tolerance approach, which treats graffiti as a serious crime - not a petty one.

It is calling for the banning of sales of spray cans to juveniles, with spray cans being behind shop counters and preferably kept under lock and key. The council also wants to have the Government give the police "more teeth" to ensure appropriate penalties are given to offenders.

The Manukau Beautification Trust has asked the council to take up the issue of graffiti control at national level.

A report to the council's Economic Development committee said graffiti is one of the highest forms of vandalism facing local authorities throughout the country, lowering property values and encouraging other types of crime.

The incidence of graffiti in Manukau is rising with a significant increase in offences from 427 incidents to 848 in the past nine months. An independent audit of arterial routes within the city saw a 69 per cent increase in graffiti for the year to December 2002. The council's Economic Development committee has approved an additional $200,000 to a total of $717,205.

Manukau City is proposing a draft remit to be considered at the Local Government New Zealand conference in July.

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