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‘Dob-in a tagger’ scheme spreads to the south

NEWS RELEASE
14 December 2007

‘Dob-in a tagger’ scheme spreads to the south

Graffiti/tagging is on the rise again with numerous new tags appearing on properties in Newtown and Island Bay – that’s why local Police and the City Council are widening their ‘dob-in a tagger’ reward programme that’s been a recent success over the hill in Kilbirnie.

Most of the taggers are males from the age of 13 through to 17 years who attend our local high schools. The main reason they tag is to get their tagging signature seen by their friends, other taggers as well as other youth so they can be ‘famous’ - as they call it.

The Council is offering $100 rewards to people who help Police nab taggers in the Southern Suburbs – especially Newtown and Island Bay. We are particularly interested in the identities of the people behind the following tags:

- Tone

- KART

- MA

- R&M

- Ruistone

If you know, feel free to contact Newtown Community Constable Helen Kaimarama in confidence at the Newtown Community Policing Centre on tel 494 3820. Helen says people with information should rest assured that she’ll keep their identities a secret.

The ‘dob-in’ scheme has successfully snared three prolific taggers in the Kilbirnie area in recent weeks. The City Council’s CitiOperations Manager, Mike Mendonca, says this has led to a marked reduction in graffiti in the Eastern Suburbs. “That’s why we’re expanding the scheme into the Southern Suburbs.”


Constable Kaimarama has a few useful anti-tagging tips:

Parents check your sons’ rooms and if you see cans of spraypaint, ask them why they have it and confiscate it. Also look for sheets of paper with the same tagging signature repeated many times. It means they are probably practicing before they go out and spray it onto walls, fences etc.

Talk to them about the consequences of their actions - like the damage they do and the cost the victims have to pay for repair work to their property which is in the hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars. Also, mention the trouble they would be in when caught by the Police – this includes a Police record, parents being involved, apologising to all the victims and community service which would be cleaning up theirs and other tags in the community.

If you suspect your son is a tagger, Constable Kaimarama would be happy to have a friendly word to them about the consequences if they continue to tag.


Businesses please do not sell spraypaint to high school students. Ask for identification if they look under 18 years. Also do not sell to an adult if it is obvious he is buying it for someone under 18.


Property owners please take a photo of the tag, come down to Newtown Community Policing Centre and fill out a tagging report. If you can, paint over the tag straight away: this prevents the tagger becoming ‘famous’. A tagged wall, if not cleaned up immediately, will attract other taggers.

If you do not have the paint or can not afford it, contact Wellington City Council on tel 499 4444. The Council’s graffiti removal squad will paint over the tagging as soon as possible.


ENDS

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