Graffiti a growing concern

Graffiti a growing concern

Bairnsdale police are orchestrating a sustained campaign against ongoing graffiti vandalism.

In recent weeks graffiti has appeared on walls and businesses throughout the central business district, particularly around Nicholson Street.

K-Mart is one of the businesses to have fallen victim to the attacks.

A number of police are actively investigating the graffiti around the area and a 15-year-old youth has already been charged.

“We are looking at partnerships, such as with council, to tackle the issue,” Sgt James Wearne said.

“It comes down to agencies becoming involved so we can crackdown on graffiti incidences.”

Sgt Wearne said it was an offence to sell cans of spray paint to minors and Bunnings Bairnsdale has installed a cage around its spray cans to make the paint harder to access.

The recent graffiti has involved what is described as “tagging” whereby the offenders spray paint initials on walls.

“The tagging means something to the tagger and people they tag with,” Sgt Wearne said.

“It’s usually a reference to a person or a group and is highly personalised to the perpetrator who puts it up.”

Sgt Wearne said police believe “a couple of groups of individuals” are responsible for the recent onslaught of graffiti around Bairnsdale.

“They put up a particular tag and another one will spray over it to mark their authority.”

Sgt Wearne said a quick and timely clean up of the graffiti is probably the way to combat ongoing incidents and avoid giving notoriety to a particular group.

“It angers the community a lot and police will be more vigilant overnight in order to put a stop to it.” Sgt Wearne said police were actively out looking for groups who are tagging.

“Our guys are passionate about acting on it and catching those responsible to prevent any further degradation of the area.”

Tagging is different to street art, which requires the owners of the property concerned granting permission to have buildings spray painted.