Hume enters schools to prevent graffiti

Almost 3000 secondary students in Hume have undertaken, or will take part in, a graffiti prevention course, Hume Mayor, Councillor Adem Atmaca, said today.

Cr Atmaca said Hume had funded the workshops to discourage any teenagers who might want to spread graffiti.

“We have a zero tolerance approach to vandalism and this program aims to avert graffiti,” Cr Atmaca said.

“The workshops started in April and will continue across almost every school in Hume until November.

“The sessions engage students in years seven, eight and nine, and combine theatrics that help to demonstrate the true cost of graffiti to the community.

“Hume recognises that young people can sometimes dabble in vandalism due to peer group pressure, and we want to offer an alternative message that promotes more positive pursuits.”

Council makes the program available to schools for free and the presentation, produced by Warner Youth Education, runs for just under 60 minutes.

Cr Atmaca said it was vital that Hume carried out a variety of measures to reduce the prevalence of graffiti.

“Vandalism can make a neighbourhood look unsightly,” he said.

“The vast majority of residents have tremendous pride in our community, and are understandably frustrated when they see a wall or a sign that has been damaged.

“Council spends $130,000 to remove graffiti each year and this is ratepayers’ money that we would prefer to spend on other services.

“Graffiti makes people feel unsafe and this vandalism is not fair on anyone who has chosen to live in our great municipality.”

In May and June 2015, Council conducted an audit that identified 1139 locations with graffiti, and a total of 14,453 square metres of illegal scrawl.

Hume washes away graffiti with the support of a full-time contractor and volunteers, and residents can obtain a removal kit if someone has vandalised their own property.

The kit is free and includes items that residents need to wash away graffiti from painted or perspex surfaces, as well as brick, stone and masonry facades.

Tools include cleaning liquids and cloths or paint brushes, as well as safety goggles and gloves.

Cr Atmaca encouraged residents to report any instance of graffiti.

“When we remove graffiti the perpetrator receives little satisfaction, and that helps prevent further offending,” he said.

“If residents tell Council where graffiti is, we can either remove it ourselves or make available a clean-up kit.”

Residents can report graffiti or request a free removal kit on 1300 HUME CLEAN. They can also alert Hume to graffiti via Council’s app.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 4 August 2015

Updated : 11:35 AM, 5 August 2015

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