Mandurah residents furious at vandalism to BEN signage at Tims Thicket Beach


Stupid, disrespectful and disgusting: The BEN signage covered in graffiti at Tims Thicket Beach in Dawesville.
Stupid, disrespectful and disgusting: The BEN signage covered in graffiti at Tims Thicket Beach in Dawesville.

MANDURAH residents have taken their fury to social media after a beach emergency numbers (BEN) sign at Tims Thicket Beach in Dawesville was vandalised.

Furnissdale resident Craig Waterman posted an image of the signage covered in graffiti on the Mandurah Q and A Facebook page on Thursday.

City of Mandurah councillor Dave Schumacher said it was a “stupid, disrespectful and a disgusting act”.

The City of Mandurah first launched the BEN signs at more than 80 coastal locations in May last year.

The move came after a shark attacked and killed surfer Ben Gerring in 2016 and there was a delay in the emergency response because of confusion over the location.

Mr Waterman said he first noticed the defaced sign when he visited the beach to go fishing on Thursday afternoon.

“I’m angry and it’s absolutely senseless,” he said.

“Other people have said it’s been like that for a couple of weeks, so I’m surprised no one had reported it sooner.”

Each sign has information to support emergency responders, including official beach names, GPS co-ordinates, coding, closest street addresses and the nearest crossroads.

Cr Schumacher said it was not the first time one of these signs had been damaged.

“I think everyone knows how important these signs are,” he said.

“Whoever is doing this is dishonouring and disrespecting the community and Ben.”

He said not only was the sign vandalised, but he believed someone shot several bullet holes through the sign.

“The sign is quite high up so we’re not talking about young kids who have done this, we’re talking about kids old enough to drive a 4WD because that’s the only way you can get to Tims Thicket,” he said.

One person commented on the Facebook post and image that the graffiti was “disgraceful and disrespectful to Ben’s family”.

Another said it was “childish, ignorant, abusive behaviour”.

Anyone who notices damage to the signs should call the City of Mandurah.