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Western suburb gets bad case of graffiti-itis

Jul 7th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

 GRAFFITI-FREE ZONE: Karori's Library has had tagging removed.

GRAFFITI-FREE ZONE: Karori's library has had tagging removed.


 TEMPTING TARGET: Tagged bus stop on Karori Rd.

TEMPTING TARGET: Tagged bus stop on Karori Rd.


A RECENT spate of graffiti on Karori properties has prompted a warning from the community constable to keep an eye out for taggers.

Senior Constable Dave Ross says tagging is rampant in Karori.

Bus stops, garages, fences and walls have been targeted and Karori library was also hit.

Police believe several individuals are responsible owing to the differing styles of tags or “bombs”. At least one tagger is believed to be female as “girly lips” are incorporated in some designs.

Community co-operation is the most effective way to stop taggers, and watchful neighbours and parents of taggers have the greatest impact in stopping graffiti, senior constable Ross says.


PRIVATE PROPERTY: Residential garages are not safe from tagging.

He says tagging is one of the greatest concerns of the community. It is especially devastating to the elderly, who often do not have the funds to pay for cleaning up.

Karori resident Rosemary Chilton agrees, and says: “It costs residents a lot of time and effort to maintain their homes.”

Senior constable Ross says since most tagging is done in the dead of night, and spray cans are silent, it is hard to catch taggers in the act. It is not usually cost effective to set up security cameras, he says.

Taggers do not usually vandalise properties near their homes, so an area free of graffiti is likely to have taggers living there, says the Karori constable.


COLOUR ON CONCRETE: Roadside wall provides a blank canvas.

Tagging carries a maximum penalty of three months in prison or a $2000 fine, and shops selling spray cans are can’t legally sell them to under-18-year-olds.

Wellington City Council has a graffiti removal campaign and a “dob in a taggerscheme rewarding people if they turn in a tagger they know.

Senior constable Ross says taggers do not take responsibility for their actions and tend to claim what they are doing is art or blame their crimes on society or their parents, he says.

Tips for parents – Is your child a tagger?

  • Do they have a large collection of spray cans? If so, they may be using them to tag
  • Are their schoolbooks covered in graffiti-like scrawls? Taggers often practise their tags on schoolbooks or pieces of paper
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