Graffiti busting - who ya' gonna call?

IT'S a dirty business, cleaning up vandals' less than attractive so-called artwork that occasionally appears on public buildings, and recently in Wingham, private property.

But have you ever stopped to wonder who it is that takes on the laborious task of cleaning it up?

A one-man graffiti 'team' (who humbly declines to be named) in conjunction with the Greater Taree City Council is the man responsible for ridding the Valley of graffiti.

The most recent incidence of tagging in Wingham took place on January 27 at Wingham Town Hall, Cuddlepie Early Childhood Centre, and fences on private property on Queen Street.

The Wingham Chronicle was made aware of it that morning by the director of Cuddlepie Early Childhood Learning Centre

No sooner was it reported, than it was gone.

Two weeks prior, the skate park was targeted. The anonymous worker has a good relationship with the skaters, and says that the kids don't like the skate park being tagged, and are happy to impart their knowledge of who the perpetrators are.

The skate park was tagged in five different fluorescent colours. Coincidentally, it was fluorescent paint that was stolen from CLM hardware - approximately 160 spray cans of it.

The worker knows which individuals are responsible in most places, as they are identifiable by their tags, and he knows which kids belong to which tags. And he also knows where to look, saying he knows all of their favourite spots.

While a recent press release from Greater Taree City Council said there was a "spike in costly damage to property in recent weeks", and mention graffiti as the major incidences, the worker says that "the actual incidents aren't happening that often anymore".

He says he now only has to work two or three days a week cleaning graffiti in the GTCC area.

The idea is to clean it up as quickly as possible, due to what is called the 'broken window theory', whereby vandals are more likely to break more windows of a building that already has at least one broken window. And so it is with graffiti.

To report graffiti, please phone 0437 764 643, email graffiti@gtcc.nsw.gov.au or call the NSW Police Graffiti Hotline on 1800 707 125.

When making a report, please include specific details of the location and a description of the damage.

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