New anti-graffiti laws could see jail time for offenders

New anti-graffiti laws could see jail time for offenders

ANTI-GRAFFITI laws that came into effect this week will see offenders face penalties as severe as two years in prison.

Data from reported graffiti offences from City of Stirling suburbs was also released, with the Scarborough the most targeted suburb.

The new laws, announced by Police Minister Liza Harvey in Inglewood on Wednesday October 12, 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.

Perth was identified as the worst suburb for graffiti vandalism with 75 reported incidents between January and August this year. Mount Lawley recorded 19 incidents, North Perth 10, Inglewood eight, Maylands seven, Mt Hawthorn six, Leederville three, Coolbinia two and Highgate one.

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.”

City of Stirling reported graffiti offences January – August 2016 by suburb:

Scarborough – 11

Osborne Park – 5

Karrinyup – 4

Hamersley – 4

Balcatta – 3

Carine – 3

Wembley Downs – 3

Doubleview – 2

Churchlands 1

Tuart Hill – 1

Waterman’s Bay – 1

Gwelup – 1

Innaloo – 1