Dob-a-tagger cash offered
Catching a criminal could earn you a cash reward.
A new 0800 tagging hotline launched on April 1 and being trialled until June allows people to report information about graffiti vandals.
Money will be offered if the information leads to the apprehension, arrest and conviction of offenders.
Auckland City Council investigators will assess the information, with inquiries followed up by both the council and the police.
Newmarket Business Association general manager Cameron Brewer hopes the public will support the initiative as they did with the police’s *555 hotline to dob in a dangerous driver.
“The public has had enough.
“Spraycans are being banned for under 18-yearolds, the penalties are going up, and now we’re encouraged to ring through information toll-free. It’s great,” he says.
“So many people have a telephone on them these days.
“An 0800 number means they can make the complaint instantaneously and much easier.”
He says rival taggers may even be enticed to dob in their competition.
“It’s great that this new council is taking graffiti eradication seriously.
“They promised they would in the election campaign and now they are delivering true to their word.”
Community services committee chairman councillor Paul Goldsmith says effective prosecution is a critical part of the battle against graffiti vandalism.
“This new number is another enforcement tool to help us catch and prosecute graffiti vandals.
“By ensuring graffiti vandals are convicted, we can make them pay for the damage they cause,” he says.
“I urge the public to phone 0800 STOP TAGS during the trial with any useful information they may have.”
Since the council’s zero tolerance to graffiti vandalism programme kicked off in October 2000, more than 500 graffiti vandals have been apprehended.
Tags have been removed from more than 130,000 sites.
The new phone hotline is 0800-7867-8247 and will be trialled until June 30.
To continue reporting graffiti vandalism for removal phone the council’s call centre on 379-2020.