What a load of graffiti rubbish

8 May 2015




The amount of graffiti scrawled and sprayed across Brisbane’s public buildings and spaces would cover one square kilometre or more than 100 football fields if it was gathered together, according to new statistics.

Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) Chief Executive Officer Peter McLean said the Brisbane City Council’s figures painted a grim picture of the extent of vandalism and visual pollution across the city’s streets, parks, gardens and buildings in recent years.

“Graffiti is as bad, if not worse, than litter,’’ said Mr McLean.

“Graffiti degrades the liveability and amenity of communities to the extent that they become no-go areas.

“It is a serious community-wide problem which we all share, like it or not.”

  • In Brisbane between October 2008 and January this year:
  • 996,891m2 of graffiti has been removed
  • 690,000 tags have been removed
  • 595 vandals have been charged
  • (with) 22,577 offences.

But Mr McLean said the big picture was far more disturbing.

“At a state level, the Department of Justice and Attorney General estimated the clean-up cost of graffiti to be $200 million a year, with $5.5 million of that going on rail infrastructure,’’ he said.

“At a national level the estimated cost of graffiti and other forms of vandalism to the
Australian community is a massive $2.7 billion a year, making visual litter the new scourge in our fight against litter bugs[1].”

Mr McLean said national crime statistics revealed an estimated 1,470,398 cases of criminal damage each year with the cost to clean up or fix each offence gauged to be $1,853. He said anyone doubting the seriousness of graffiti need only study the estimated costs compared with other crimes:

  • Fraud: $6 billion
  • Drug Abuse: $3 billion
  • Assault: $3 billion
  • Criminal Damage: (vandalism and graffiti) $2.7 billion
  • Arson: $2.3 billion.

Mr McLean said the Brisbane City Council’s zero tolerance policy to graffiti and its push to
remove visual pollution as soon as possible to diminish the vandal’s source of satisfaction
was one of the best ways to curb the defacement of public property.

“Illegal graffiti isn’t some petty youthful prank, it’s vandalism and it diminishes our community and our country,” Mr McLean said.

Taggers and graffiti vandals can be reported to local authorities through Graffiti Stop on 1300 427 334 or on-line at www.graffitistop.com.au


Contact: Asaesja Young – Sequel Communication 3251 8133 or 0439 483 858.

[1] http://aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/rpp/121-140/rpp129/17-criminal-damage.html

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