WHILE many Melville residents painted the town red on New Year’s Eve, at least one vandal had another kind of painting in mind – covering the walls of Striker Melville Indoor Sports Centre in obscene graffiti.
Leeming resident Bob Taddeo discovered the graffiti, which included profanity and a homophobic slur among more than 20 other markings, during a visit to Peter Ellis Reserve on Sunday, January 3.
He believes it was the handiwork of local graffiti vandals because of the repetitive appearance of “149” – the last three digits of the Leeming postcode.
Centre co-owner Mike North agreed, stating the recent Christmas break was the worst for vandalism since he took over the property five years ago.
“We often have issues this time of year because school is out and kids are bored,” he said.
“We had a window smashed over the Christmas period and then when I drove in after the New Year’s Eve weekend, I was greeted by graffiti all over the doors and the main part of the building.
“They were up on the roof, down the footpath towards Leeming Senior High School; there were tags everywhere.”
Mr North said both his centre and a nearby skateboard park were occasionally targeted by vandals.
“It’s a bit of a problem in this particular area because the buildings are hidden away from the main road and although the council provides a security service, they can’t be here 24 hours a day,” he said.
City of Melville chief executive Shayne Silcox said the graffiti had been removed.
He said there had been an 85 per cent decrease in graffiti removal costs since 2007.
“While there has been a huge reduction in graffiti, we continue to be vigilant about graffiti management to ensure our residents feel safe in Melville and to preserve the beauty of our local amenities,” he said.
Bull Creek-Leeming ward councillor Matt Woodall said the City of Melville worked closely with WA Police to reduce crime and identify problem areas.
“I encourage Bull Creek and Leeming residents to be vigilant and to report any graffiti or anti-social behaviour to the City and the police so that additional resources can be deployed to these hotspots,” he said.
Graffiti vandalism should be reported to the City of Melville’s 24-hour hotline on 1800 626 119 or through the City’s website.