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Porirua Retailers Respond to Graffiti Initiatives

Porirua Retailers Respond to Graffiti Initiatives

New Zealand Police Wellington News Release
2:43pm 11 December 2007

Porirua retailers who sell spray paint cans are well up with the play when it comes to the campaign against graffiti in Porirua.

A flying visit yesterday to local outlets who sell the spray cans by local Police Area Commander, Inspector John Spence and Porirua City Council Chief Executive, Dr Roger Blakeley found that retailers were aware of the issue.

All had taken steps to ensure that their displays were easily visible from sales counters, had signs up and were alert to shoplifters. The retailers were Placemakers, The Warehouse, Super Cheap Auto, P&Z Decorating, Bunnings, Kmart, Mitre 10 and Uncle Bill's.

The campaign to get the retailers on side started three years ago. At that time the retailers agreed to a voluntary ban on sale of spray paint cans to people under the age of 18.

"It was understood this was a first in New Zealand," Inspector Spence said. "It was clear that awareness is still just as high amongst all the retailers involved."

Dr Blakeley said that the City's anti-graffiti strategy is based on "Prevention, Paintout and Pride in Porirua". One of the actions to prevent graffiti is to control access to the spray paint cans that are used by graffiti vandals.

"Overall it was great to see our retailers were on board with the city's anti-graffiti strategy" said Inspector Spence. "Some shops had the cans locked away in cabinets or put away in the back of the shop. Other shops had the spray can display areas clearly visible from the front counter. All had signs indicating they would only sell to people over the age of 18 years and all had alert staff looking out for shoplifters. One shop had their spray can display area under video surveillance".

Dr Blakeley was especially heartened when told by a major retailer that an alert flashes on the check-out operator's screen when a spray can was being purchased to remind them to confirm the buyer was over 18 years old. This initiative started in Porirua and now applies to all of that chain's stores nationwide.

"To see the retailers come on board like this is very positive," said Dr Blakeley. "If everyone in the community chips in and does their bit we will become even more effective in reducing graffiti in our community. Now the school holidays are here, we're stepping up our efforts to discourage people from vandalising property through graffiti."

"Graffiti was on the increase lately," said Inspector Spence. "It is a very frustrating crime to deal with and we need support from all parts of the community to help put a stop to it. Yesterday's visit to city retailers was very encouraging."


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