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'Dob-in a tagger' scheme spreads to Khandallah

NEWS RELEASE 20 October 2008

'Dob-in a tagger' scheme spreads to Khandallah

Tagging has recently become a problem in Khandallah and nearby suburbs - that's why local Police and Wellington City Council are introducing their 'dob-in a tagger' reward programme to the area.

Most of the taggers are high-school males from 13-17 years of age. Their main aim is to get their tagging signature seen by their friends, other taggers and other young people so that they can become 'famous'.

The Council is offering $100 rewards to people who help Police nab taggers in Khandallah. They are particularly interested in the identities of the people behind the recent spate of tags along Ganges Road shops, at Nairnville Park and on street signs and other utilities in the area.

If you know, contact Senior Constable Stuart Rowe in confidence at the Johnsonville Policing Centre on 477 5570. Stuart says people with information should rest assured their identities will remain anonymous.

The 'dob-in' scheme has successfully snared a dozen prolific taggers in the Kilbirnie area this year. The City Council's CitiOperations Manager, Mike Mendonça, says this has led to a marked reduction in tagging in the eastern and southern suburbs.

"Following concerns raised by residents, we're expanding the scheme into Khandallah and other suburbs," says Mike.

Constable Rowe has a few useful tips for parents: * Check your teenagers' rooms. If you see cans of spray-paint, ask them why they have it and confiscate it.

* 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 - the damage they do and the cost the victims have to pay for repair work to their property - which is sometimes hundreds or thousands of dollars.

* 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 involve cleaning up theirs and other tags in the community.

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

Businesses are asked not to sell spray-paint to high-school students. Ask for identification if they look under 18 years. Also, do not sell to an adult if it is obvious they are buying it for someone under 18.

If your property has been tagged, take a photo of the tag and come down to the Johnsonville Community Policing Centre on Moorefield Road to 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, call Wellington City Council on 499 4444. The Council's graffiti removal squad will paint over the tagging as soon as possible.


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