AG says new offender clean-up laws have cut graffiti 25%
ALMOST 130 graffiti vandals have spent 1160 hours in the past year cleaning up their mess.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie, speaking a year after the LNP brought in laws to make vandals clean up the mess they made with spraycans in public areas, said the mandatory graffiti removal orders had contributed to a dramatic drop in graffiti crime.
He said the graffiti crime rate had fallen more than 25% since the orders, and an increase in the maximum sentence for vandalism to seven years' jail, were introduced.
"The graffiti removal orders are practical and effective, with convicted vandals literally cleaning up their act by removing graffiti as part of their sentence," he said.
"Over the past year, 128 offenders have been ordered to perform 1160 hours' worth of clean ups across Queensland.
On the Gold Coast alone, they've re-painted around 3,500 square metres of buildings and other structures."
Acting superintendent Bill Knowles said the 25% drop was remarkable and he believed the new laws had contributed greatly.
He said it had been a great opportunity for police to work with other agencies and to educate young people.
Mr Bleijie said an agreement between Queensland Corrective Services and Queensland Rail meant the state's trains and other rail infrastructure would be also now cleaned up.
"Rail infrastructure is a favourite for many vandals and graffiti costs Queensland Rail more than $5.5 million a year to clean up," he said.
"This agreement means offenders can now be sent out to clean up Queensland Rail property and in turn make Queenslanders' trip to work or home more enjoyable and less of an eyesore.
"Graffiti costs Queensland families a total of $200 million to clean up every year. It's an ugly blight on any home, business or community's image that we are determined to clean up."