City of Melville and WA Police have big win in battle against graffiti

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE City of Melville’s commitment to stamping out graffiti has led to the arrest and charging of a prolific offender allegedly responsible for 250 incidents, totalling $14,000 in damages.

Earlier this year WA Police conducted Operation Quadrangle II, an exercise focused on early graffiti prevention as well as education and engagement strategies to raise awareness of graffiti related issues.

Visiting more than 50 schools and involving more than 100 key stakeholders, including local government authorities and repeat victims of graffiti offences, Operation Quadrangle II resulted in 308 graffiti offenders being charged with 442 offences.

City of Melville supported the operation by supplying Palmyra Police Station with information leading to the arrest of a particularly prolific offender.

The City recorded details of 250 incidents of the offender’s tag and details of each location and Palmyra police used that information to obtain a search warrant at the offender’s house.

The offender has since been charged with each of the 250 incidents, and police have put in a claim for $14,000 in damages for the City to recoup the cost to the ratepayer of cleaning up the graffiti.

The charges follow a similar arrest based on information supplied to police by the City in September 2015, when another offender pleaded guilty to more than 100 incidents.

They were ordered to pay a $1000 fine, complete a 12-month community order and pay the City more than $5000 in damages.

Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said the City had a memorandum of understanding with WA Police that allowed it to share images and locations of graffiti it has recorded.

“In particular we share information about prolific offenders who over time can be repeatedly traced, tracked and easily identified for a large number of offences for which they can then be charged,” he said.

“The City recently received grant funding from the WA Police Graffiti Fund to help upgrade the handheld devices and software that are currently used to collect and upload pictures of graffiti to the State Goodbye Graffiti database, which we hope will improve the information shared and ultimately help the police catch more offenders.”