The war on graffiti

MANLY Council has declared war on graffiti, as dozens of the area’s buildings become magnets for the illegal scrawl. Graffiti vandalism removal and prevention programs cost the council more than $100,000 last year.

The cost, plus the blight on Manly’s visual landscape, has so enraged some councillors that one even called for those perpetrators who are caught to be publicly shamed.

Following a motion by new Mayor Jean Hay, the council will call on the NSW Attorney General and the Local Government Association to hold a leaders’ summit on the problem.

The council will also lead a meeting of its community safety committee and youth council with the police, school principals and State Transit Police to formulate a joint approach to graffiti.

The council is also launching a public awareness campaign within the Manly community and in the area’s schools. It has vowed to continue funding a dob-in-a-vandal initiative, which offers a $1000 reward for information that leads to a conviction.

Cr Hay said a spate of recent vandalism prompted her to call for action on "the selfish acts of graffiti vandals’’.

"During the school holidays there has been an incredible amount of graffiti,’’ she said. "A number of public parks, playgrounds and other public assets in Manly were attacked.

"Aside from the cost of clean-up, the council’s limited resources, which would have been otherwise deployed, had to be diverted to deal with the clean-up.’’

Cr Mark Norek even called for the council to go one step further and publicly name and shame offenders.

Manly Council has a hotline for residents to report graffiti or dob in a vandal. Phone 99761633. Jean Hay as "fun and secure.’’

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