The City of Greater Geraldton has spoken out about vandalism and graffiti which has cost ratepayers more than $110,000 in the last financial year.
The cost of a maintenance shed break in and graffiti attack on Queens Park Theatre and the Queen Elizabeth II Seniors and Community Centre on Sunday night is currently being assessed by City officers.
The shed that houses equipment for the care and upkeep of the City’s grounds was broken into. The offenders sprayed graffiti on the QPT and QEII walls and also on the windscreen and bonnet of a vehicle parked in the City administration offices car park.
The City have also had to remove graffiti from the Esplanade after vandals took to the attraction last night.
City Director of Community Infrastructure, Neil Arbuthnot, said senseless acts of vandalism have cost the City thousands of dollars to repair.
“Infrastructure is provided to the public so it can be utilised and enjoyed by all, it’s very disheartening when a small minority ruin it for the rest of us,” he said.
He said he is particularly disappointed with the speed in which The Esplanade (formerly the Eastern Breakwater) was vandalised.
“Since its opening on December 20, 2013, The Esplanade has had two major vandalism incidents totalling $35,000 of damage," Mr Arbuthnot said.
“The first occurrence saw 11 LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights worth $33,000 broken, and the second act of vandalism, which happened recently, of seven bollard lights costing $2,000. Graffiti has also been found on the walls and seating."
Mr Arbuthnot said the City’s building maintenance and sanitation departments look after most of the vandalism and graffiti clean ups.
“This takes resources away from the departments’ core responsibilities of keeping the City’s assets maintained and clean, and the cost is passed on to ratepayers,” he said.
“Although the City is mostly responsible for cleaning up after vandals, outside contractors are brought in for specialist repair work of an electrical or mechanical nature which adds to the cost.”
The City urges the public to report vandalism and graffiti to the police immediately, call the Graffiti Hotline, or download the free mobile phone application, Snap Send Solve, to report such issues.
“Working together with the community to tackle the minority responsible for vandalism can ensure a better amenity for our community, and less cost to ratepayers,” Mr Arbuthnot said.
For more information on graffiti reporting, removal or prevention, visit the Goodbye Graffiti website on www.goodbyegraffiti.wa.gov.au. To report an incident call the Western Australia Graffiti Hotline on 1800 44 22 55, or report an incident on Snap Send Solve.