Vandals have spent 1160 hours cleaning up 'own mess'
ALMOST 130 graffiti vandals have spent 1160 hours in the past year cleaning up their act.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie, speaking a year after the LNP brought in laws to make vandals clean up the mess they made with spraycans in public areas, said the mandatory graffiti removal orders had contributed to a dramatic drop in graffiti crime.
He said the graffiti crime rate had fallen more than 25% since the orders, and an increase in the maximum sentence for vandalism to seven years' jail, were introduced.
"The graffiti removal orders are practical and effective, with convicted vandals literally cleaning up their act by removing graffiti as part of their sentence," he said.
"Over the past year, 128 offenders have been ordered to perform 1160 hours' worth of clean-ups across Queensland.
"On the Gold Coast alone, they've repainted about 3500sq m of buildings and other structures."
Acting superintendent Bill Knowles said the 25% drop was remarkable and he believed the new laws had contributed greatly.
He said it had been a great opportunity for police to work with other agencies and to educate young people.
Mr Bleijie said an agreement between Queensland Corrective Services and Queensland Rail meant the state's trains and other rail infrastructure would also now be cleaned up.
"Rail infrastructure is a favourite for many vandals and graffiti costs Queensland Rail more than $5.5 million a year to clean up," he said.
"Offenders can now be sent out to clean up Queensland Rail property and in turn make Queenslanders' trip to work or home less of an eyesore.
"Graffiti is ... an ugly blight on any home, business or community's image."