Graffiti removal costs the City of Perth $600,000 dollars per year with about 20 vandalism attacks recorded on business, public and private property each day.
It’s a substantial percentage of the estimated $25 million it costs local governments, state government, business and property owners across WA annually, according to Crime Stoppers.
City of Perth Community Safety Coordinator Jane Hannaford and graffiti removalist Wayne give insights into how the city manages graffiti.
WA Police’s State Graffiti Taskforce is calling on local governments, businesses and property owners to report and remove graffiti within 48 hours and is offering support for its removal.
As part of the Graffiti Vandalism Strategy 2019-20, the taskforce wants to increase awareness of the importance of reporting graffiti to Goodbye Graffiti Database to support police.
Police use the intel to help prevent and reduce graffiti crime.
The City of Perth established its graffiti removal strategy 17 years ago and has been working closely with police to ensure offences are reported.
City of Perth Community Safety Coordinator Jane Hannaford said the city has three full time graffiti removalists who scrub an average of 125 incidences of vandalism each week.
Each one is recorded and monitored, including how long it takes to remove, as part of the city’s focus on prevention, reporting, recording and analysis.
Tagging is the most common form of graffiti experienced by the city.
Hannaford says the $600,000 does not include what businesses and other agencies spend on removing graffiti from heights or other areas that are difficult to reach.
She said property owners can take several steps to deter graffiti, such as designing out the crime with landscaping and protective surfaces and by reporting graffiti so it can be removed quickly.
“Some business owners have said planting bougainvilleas are a deterrent,” she said.
“It’s really important for people to report graffiti and it costs them nothing to report it.
“We can attend to it quickly. If it’s political or racist or offensive it will be cleaned within 24 hours.”