Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP has committed $100,000 funding to a graffiti busters program, which forces offenders to scrub off graffiti vandalism as punishment for their crimes.
The graffiti busters program identifies illegal graffiti in the city and coordinates adult offenders and juveniles currently serving community service orders to remove the vandalism.
“The graffiti busters program has been a great success but their funding will run out next month,” Mr Janetzki said.
“By using offenders that are paying back the community for their crimes, the program not only cleans up our city but also encourages youth back on the straight and narrow,” he said.
Program coordinator Kaye Lindsay agreed the program helped curb future reoffending while also saving the community $285,000 each year.
“When they have to clean off their own graffiti it hurts – they don’t like cleaning up their own tags,” Ms Lindsay said.
“This is the only program in Queensland which removes graffiti from private homes and businesses without cost to the owners,” she said.
Mr Janetzki said illegal graffiti had significant social and financial impacts for local residents and businesses.
“Graffiti is often the first step to increased crime in neighbourhoods as they are seen as neglected and an easy target for criminals,” Mr Janetzki said.
“Research shows that graffiti vandals enjoy seeing their handiwork and immediate removal of graffiti prevents copycat offences,” he said.
Under an LNP Government, $100,000 funding will be given to the Safer Toowoomba Regional Partnerships’ Graffiti Busters program – allowing it to run for another three years.
Mr Janetzki said communities with high levels of graffiti attracted further crime.