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Additional graffiti enforcement funding proposed

Auckland City Council
Media release

4 March 2008

Additional graffiti enforcement funding proposed

Chairperson of the Community Services Committee, Councillor Paul Goldsmith, is proposing that the council devote more resources to catching and prosecuting graffiti vandals in Auckland.

The proposal for additional funding of $200,000 per annum will be considered by the council’s Combined Committees as part of the draft annual plan tomorrow. The money would be spent on investigative and surveillance operations to target the 10 worst graffiti vandals in Auckland city at any one time, and prosecute them in the criminal and civil courts. This initiative would also improve intelligence gathering relating to suspects and their associates.

Mr Goldsmith says increasing the funding for enforcement would send a strong message that graffiti vandalism will not be tolerated by the council.

“I believe effective prosecution is a critical part of the battle against graffiti vandalism. These people need to know that they’ll be caught and that we will use every power available to use to make them pay for the damage they cause,” he says.

“Since its inception in October 2000, the council’s Zero Tolerance to Graffiti vandalism programme has seen the eradication of graffiti vandalism from more than 130,000 sites and the apprehension of over 500 graffiti vandals. The proposed additional funding would help us take enforcement to a new level of intensity.”

The council currently spends around $1.85 million on the eradication of graffiti vandalism through its Zero Tolerance to Graffiti vandalism programme, most of which is spent on graffiti removal.

“Presently only $96,000 is spent on enforcement work; this proposed increase would treble the funds available,” says Mr Goldsmith.

The proposed funding will be considered at the council’s Combined Committees meeting on 5 and 6 March, where the priorities for the city over the next year and budget options for how to fund them will be discussed.

The decisions made at the Combined Committees meeting will be included in the council’s draft annual plan that will be available for public feedback from 21 April to 22 May 2008.

The Combined Committees will meet again in June before the budget and rates levels are set for the 2008/2009 financial year.


ENDS

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