Graffiti vandalism is a huge problem throughout all of New
Every year, graffiti costs Local Councils half a million
dollars... Money that could be better spent in other areas such as
infrastructure improvements, hospital maintenance and other community
Based upon data available from the Bureau
of Crime Statistics, Revesby and surrounding suburbs are unfortunately a
graffiti crime hotspot. The Bureau has also determined that 16-25 year old
males are the most likely group to be charged with graffiti-related offences,
and of these, they are usually from socio-economically disadvantaged
backgrounds. Graffiti offences have been identified as a precursor to larger
crimes later on in life. It is essential that this pattern be recognised and
addressed appropriately in order to reduce the chance of recidivism, while
still maintaining efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Several attempts have been made by the NSW Government to
implement steps to change this statistic, yet it has been rejected by the Upper
House. This petition asks the Upper House to consider the alternatives provided
to them and demonstrates to them that there is an obvious need to implement
these strategies in order to combat the problem, especially in terms of dealing
with young people.
The changes proposed by the Graffiti Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 have been:
- To move away from fining young offenders and adopt an approach which involves
the offender serving a community service order, under which the offender
will be cleaning graffiti. This serves as a form of rehabilitation as it
teaches the person of the effects of their actions, as well as the fact
that their actions will have consequences. Fining has been deemed
ineffective as, most of the time, the offenders are from disadvantaged
families who cannot afford the fine anyway.
- As a secondary and extreme measure, it has been proposed that a system be
introduced where offenders (especially L, P1 and P2 Licence holders) have
restrictions placed upon their licence, or longer time periods imposed, in
an attempt to promote stronger consequences, as well as being a
preventative measure, where it has been proven, graffiti offences can lead
to larger and more dangerous crimes.
If these changes can be implemented, an easier and more
effective program will be able to benefit the local community and the victim,
as well as provide a means of rehabilitation for the offender and also provide
less financial discrimination against those of a lower socio-economic standing.
This petition calls upon the Upper House of NSW Parliament to review the changes proposed within the Graffiti Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 and implement them as a positive step to minimising the impact of graffiti upon the local community, providing an effective means of removing the graffiti, as well as towards reducing recidivism rates, especially in young offenders.
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