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Fighting back at graffiti on buses

September 14, 2012

MEDIA STATEMENT

Fighting back at graffiti on buses

Vandals who etch bus windows or who tag the interior of buses are being warned their behaviour will be caught on camera and photographs of their offending will be sent to the police.

Environment Canterbury, Christchurch Police and Christchurch City Council have joined forces with local bus operators to address the issue of graffiti across the city.

Environment Canterbury Passenger Services Manager David Stenhouse says “We know that graffiti is a huge problem for bus operators in Christchurch. Each operator currently spends around $280,000 annually on replacement glass and window film and on top of this there is the cost of having buses off the road for six hours at a time while replacements are made. Ultimately these costs end up being passed on the bus users.’’

The initiative which will run during September and October will take place on all Orbiters and on 25 buses across three other routes. Surveillance cameras will be in use and any damage will be photographed and the footage sent to the police. A sticker will be placed on each window etch indicating that the evidence has been sent to the police. Large warning notices will be applied to the back of all buses and signs will be on other bus windows.

As well as camera surveillance, safe city officers and undercover police will be on the buses with resourcing concentrated around The Palms area.

“The three agencies are working together to address the graffiti problem across the city and are beginning by targeting tagging on buses. We want to provide a clean, safe comfortable environment for all passengers and want to encourage respect for other people’s property. However graffiti is a community problem and we will be looking for support from other passengers or people who see buses being tagged or etched. We encourage parents to take responsibility for their children’s actions.

People can call 0800 Vandal to report any damage, says Mr Stenhouse.

“Taggers need to understand there are consequences for their actions and that police will be prosecuting offenders. They may not realise they can be liable for three months imprisonment or a fine of up to $2000. The city council also is compiling a list of tags and identifying their owners, so taggers can be identified and charged with more than one offence.’’

Local schools fully support the project which will run for two weeks in the school term and two weeks in school holidays, says Mr Stenhouse.

ends

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