ANTI-GRAFFITI laws to come into effect at midnight tonight will see offenders face penalties as severe as two years in prison.
The new laws, announced by Police Minister Liza Harvey in Inglewood today, also include mandatory graffiti clean-up orders for offenders.
Mrs Harvey said graffiti costs state and local governments $8 million a year in cleaning costs, in addition to the cost to business owners and residents.
Offenders will now be subject to fines of up to $24,000.
“The community told us they want to see punishments that fit the crime,” she said.
Mt Lawley MP Michael Sutherland told the Guardian Express that derelict buildings opposite Mozart’s Patisserie had been an epicentre for graffiti vandalism in Inglewood.
“There has been a spate of graffiti in the area, and locals have said the people living in these derelict buildings are doing it,” he said, pointing out the long-abandoned restaurant next to the TAB on Beaufort Street.
Mozart’s Patisserie manager Suzii She welcomed the new laws.
“It is really annoying; it is like a daily battle,” she said.
“Who wants to see a wall like that? Sometimes it is profanity, sometimes foul pictures. People don’t understand the effect it has on a business.”