Wagga vandalised as police confirm graffiti attacks on the rise

Police confirmed on Friday that another 14 incidents of graffiti were reported overnight in what had become a summer crime spree for Wagga’s vandals.

Acting Inspector Nigel Turney said police were reviewing CCTV footage to find out who was involved.

“Eventually, I would think they will slip up and come undone and come to our notice – once we identify them, we will take all appropriate courses of action to ensure that they are dealt with according to the law,” Inspector Turney said.

“There seems to be some comments in the graffiti that it will continue until they acquire a graffiti wall, so they can engage in whatever they do with spray cans and that.” 

However, Member for Wagga Daryl Maguire said a graffiti wall was not the answer, as these criminals were vandals, not artists.

“I've been around the city, and I can see where the new tags are – disgusting filth, like dogs marking their territory – and it is defacing the city,” he said.

A NEW LOW: The community was outraged on Thursday after Tom Looney of children's cancer charity Country Hope discovered their office had been defaced by graffiti vandals. Picture: Les Smith

A NEW LOW: The community was outraged on Thursday after Tom Looney of children's cancer charity Country Hope discovered their office had been defaced by graffiti vandals. Picture: Les Smith

Mr Maguire said it would take a whole-community effort to stop these vandals.

“There are penalties in place – but you've got to catch them before you can enforce them,” he said.

“The first thing is to report it, the second thing is not to accept the fact that graffiti is someone else's responsibility – if your wall is graffitied, clean it off, if your building has graffiti on it, clean it off, and, eventually, the community will win.”

He was also trying to allocate more NSW Government resources towards the issue.

“There is a community services team that works four days a week with up to 10 community service ordered personnel,” Mr Macguire said.

“I'm writing to the minister and asking for some more resources to get a bus, an extra supervisor, and have those that are ordered to do community service clean off the graffiti.”

Wagga councillor Yvonne Braid said she would push graffiti to the top of the agenda when council resumed meetings later this month.

“Councillors and council staff have to make it a priority, because guess what? It's a priority for the people out in the community,” Cr Braid said.

“We've got to get more lights and more cameras and a couple more police that work on graffiti crimes.”

Cr Braid said harsher penalties should be considered for those caught offending.

“Nobody better tell me that the jails are full, let them be fuller – if they've got to sleep on the floor, let them.”

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