The Western Australian government’s strategy to reduce graffiti was awarded a silver medal in the police-led category of the 2017 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA).
Led by the Western Australian Police Force, the State Graffiti Taskforce has reduced graffiti by 55 per cent from 2011-2017. Since 2011, police have charged 1,580 vandals with more than 4,300 offences.
Deputy Commissioner Stephen Brown said the State Graffiti Taskforce leveraged the evidence-base of what actually works in reducing crime, and used its diverse member-base to advance legislation, policy and crime prevention strategies.
“Unlike many crimes, graffiti has multiple victims, not only the owners of infrastructure, but also the broader community,” he said.
“Graffiti adversely impacts many people across the state and adversely impacts their perception of community cohesion and social order.”
An independent evaluation found the taskforce had achieved a significant reduction in graffiti offences across the state, improvements in clean-up rates and a reduction in the number of offenders.
Police Minister Michelle Roberts said everyone deserves to live in safe communities free of vandalism.
“The annual cost of cleaning up graffiti in Western Australia is estimated at more than $25 million.
“But aside from the financial cost, there is the social cost – graffiti is unsightly and shows a fundamental disrespect for people’s property.
“Partnerships like this one play a key role in reducing the incidences of graffiti vandalism and help restore the community’s sense of safety and security.”
The ACVPAs are a joint initiative of the Australian, State and Territory governments and recognise best practice in the prevention and reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia.
All projects are assessed each year by the ACVPA Board, which consist of senior law enforcement representatives from each state and territory police service and chaired by the acting Australian Institute of Criminology Director.