Mandurah graffiti incidents on increase, data shows

Photo: Shutterstock.
Photo: Shutterstock.

The number of graffiti vandalism incidents in Mandurah have increased, with the city spending $8000 more on damage costs this year than four years prior, according to recent data.

Data from the City of Mandurah shows graffiti was removed from buildings 664 times in the 2015/16 financial year, costing $115,024.

This has increased by 162 incidents in the 2018/19 financial year, with 882 vandalism incidents costing $123,600 to remove.

Damaging property by graffiti can lead to a $24,000 fine or two years in prison.

Mandurah District Police Senior Sergeant Darren Hart

In March, the Mandurah Mail reported on a graffiti incident on Old Coast Road in Wannanup, which cost a local church $1000.

Over the past four years, there were 93 graffiti reports in the Shire of Murray costing $5998.

City of Mandurah chief executive Mark Newman said the city worked with a wide range of stakeholders including the state government, police, business owners, community groups and the local community to educate and prevent graffiti vandalism.

Mr Newman said shire officers remove graffiti from public property within 48 hours of being notified of the offence.

"The City is not responsible for the removal of graffiti on private property, however, we do assist owners and tenants if required," he said.

Possessing articles for graffiti or selling articles for graffiti to children also attract large fines.

Mandurah District Police Senior Sergeant Darren Hart

Shire of Murray chief executive Dean Unsworth said sporadic occurrences of minor tagging was an ongoing issue.

"Graffiti of an offensive nature is dealt with as high priority, with removal in most cases actioned within 24 hours," he said.

"The Shire actively works with landowners and public authorities to encourage the timely removal of graffiti, as and when incidents occur."

Mandurah District Police Senior Sergeant Darren Hart said graffiti legislation introduced in 2016 had helped officers better deal with the issue.

"Damaging property by graffiti can lead to a $24,000 fine or two years in prison," he said.

"In many cases offenders can also face the clean-up costs.

"Possessing articles for graffiti or selling articles for graffiti to children also attract large fines."

Senior Sergeant Hart said the challenge for officers was gathering evidence to locate, identify and prosecute the offenders.

"Members of the public who see suspicious behaviour should get as many details as they can without putting themselves at risk and call police," he said.

"As a connected and proactive community we can work together to limit this type of offending even further."

To report a graffiti incident or to provide information to police, visit the WA Police website atwww.police.wa.gov.au.