Western Australia Minister for Police Rob Johnson
Juvenile Offenders Made To Clean Up Their Graffiti
Victor P Taffa
Young graffiti vandals will be required to remove graffiti marked or tagged on property as part of a new pilot program being trialled in Joondalup and Victoria Park.
Western Australia Minister for Police Rob Johnson said the Juvenile Clean-Up Referral Program was part of the State Government’s ‘Tough on Graffiti’ strategy.
“Graffiti is a scourge on the community and people are fed up with their local area being scarred by mindless vandalism.” Mr. Johnson said.
“It costs taxpayers about $25 Million every year for Government to clean up and remove graffiti from private and public property.
“The program will involve juvenile offenders who have been referred to the Department of Corrective Services’ Juvenile Justice Teams cleaning up graffiti under supervision.”
“During the program, offenders will be educated on the impact graffiti and their anti-social actions have on the community.” Mr. Johnson said.
“The program will also connect the young participants with trade-based professionals, providing them with a range of skills that may lead to future career options.”
The City of Joondalup and Town of Victoria Park have worked with WA Police and Department of Corrective Services to develop the program and will be the pilot sites for the initial trial period of six months.
The State Government recently announced new penalties for graffiti vandals, who now face up to two years in jail or a $24,000 fine.
The new laws have also made it an offence for retailers to sell graffiti equipment such as spray cans to persons under 18 years old, with maximum penalties of $6,000 for a first offence and $12,000 for subsequent offences.
In addition, the State Government’s Graffiti Taskforce has so far provided more than $600,000 to local governments and non-profit organisations for graffiti reduction strategies.