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Winning the war on graffiti

Winning the war on graffiti

School holiday related graffiti vandalism is making less of a mark thanks to Auckland City’s award-winning zero tolerance programme.

The school holidays normally bring about a 20-30 per cent increase in graffiti vandalism, but the recent Christmas break saw no increase in the number of graffiti sites reported.

Councillor Noelene Raffills, chairperson of the council’s Law and Order Committee, says that this trend has successfully been curbed by the zero tolerance programme and commitment from members of the community.

“It is heartening to see that we are getting real results out in the community. Four years ago when the council commenced its graffiti removal programme the amount of graffiti around the city had reached epidemic proportions, with some parts of the city literally covered in tags.

“Everyone involved with the zero tolerance programme has been working towards the same goal, and as a result we are all able to see a steady decline in graffiti across the city. I am very grateful for all the hard work that has been put in to make this programme a success, ” she says.

The zero tolerance on graffiti programme has implemented a number of community initiatives since it began in 2000, and is now responsible for several youth offenders spending time during their school holidays doing community service for the city.

Mrs Raffills says the programme is part of Auckland City’s wider strategy to make the city a safer and more enjoyable place to live and play.

“It is clear that the programme is being recognised nationally and globally by the number of enquiries we are receiving from other councils and Police agencies. As a result, we are able to work closely with our regional partners to fight the graffiti battle.”

The graffiti programme has been responsible for the removal of nearly 55,000 sites and the apprehension/arrest of 200 graffiti vandals.

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