The writing’s on the wall for graffiti offenders

Minister for Police and Community Safety
The Honourable Jack Dempsey

The writing’s on the wall for graffiti offenders

With over 380 people charged with more than 12,000 offences since its inception, the Taskforce Against Graffiti (TAG) has been highly successful in reducing and preventing graffiti across Brisbane.

Established in October 2008, the taskforce evolved out of a partnership between the Queensland Police Service and the Brisbane City Council. The group is staffed by intelligence officers and investigators from the two agencies.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey said the success of the taskforce has been attributed not only to the team’s strategy of combining intelligence driven analysis with targeted policing, but the willingness of the community and industry stakeholders to help combat this growing problem.

“Graffiti is a highly visible and notorious crime. It is this high visibility and the clean up cost that results in one single act affecting so many people,” Minister Dempsey said.

“It is the community’s willingness to work with us and stamp this issu e out that has made the taskforce so successful.”

“TAG has increased our capacity to apprehend those who commit these offences and to work proactively to educate, raise awareness and reduce the incidence of graffiti across Brisbane,” Commissioner of Police Bob Atkinson said.

In 2010 the two agencies conducted a graffiti forum that brought together policy makers, government and law enforcement agencies to share knowledge and develop strategies to curb this issue.
This week, the agencies will again host a Graffiti Prevention Conference which will bring together those with a vested interest in this area.

“It is hoped forums such as this allow the two agencies to build on the taskforce’s successful foundations and work towards creating best practice graffiti management,” Mr Atkinson said.

“The theme of this year’s conference is ‘the writing’s on the wall’ and this is certainly the case for offenders out there. Make no mistake, you are on notic e.

“Graffiti is a significant problem and concern for our community and those of us in law enforcement are focused on targeting and apprehending people who engage in this criminal vandalism,” Mr Atkinson said.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said Brisbane City Council was committed to tackling the social and financial costs attributed to illegal graffiti.

“Graffiti is an ugly stain on our city and I will continue my campaign to rid it from our suburbs,” Lord Mayor Quirk said.

“That’s why since 2008 my team has spent $12 million removing over half-a-million square metres of graffiti.

“I’m also committed to working with Campbell Newman and the Queensland Police to not only clean up illegal graffiti, but catch the vandals responsible for it through important programs such as TAG.”

Last month the Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Lord Mayor Graham Quirk announced a landmark deal that will see Queensland Rail sign up to the Taskforce A gainst Graffiti in a bid to tackle problem rail corridors.

Lord Mayor Quirk said he was also committed to delivering on his election promise to boost TAG funding by an extra $2 million over four years, as well as running other public educations such as Tag Them Back, which spells out the real impact of graffiti on local communities.