Mammoth graffiti clean-up rids streets of unsightly vandalism

Mammoth graffiti clean-up rids streets of unsightly vandalism
Brendan Rees

Clean-up crews have removed a record amount of graffiti across the municipality after the City of Melbourne battled a 60 per cent increase in the vandalism act after lockdowns.

New data from the council revealed 80,000 square metres of graffiti had been off cleaned since the start of the year after a blitz began in March.

A rapid response clean team has removed more than 30 per cent of the graffiti from the central city, with North Melbourne and Carlton accounting for about 25 per cent. West Melbourne and Kensington made up 17 per cent of total graffiti jobs.

The council said it was continuing to work closely with Victoria Police to identify and deter offenders.

During the blitz, 22 people were arrested for illegal tagging, using information and footage supplied by the City of Melbourne.
“We know everyone is furious at the amount of vandalism and graffiti that has occurred over the past few years. We want to stamp out this destructive scourge and make Melbourne a city we can all be proud of again,” Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said.

Cr Reece said the clean-up crews had “done an incredible job” as the CBD welcomed more workers, students, and visitors – with nearly two MCGs worth of graffiti removed in less than four months.

During the blitz, he said nearly 90 per cent of the clean team’s work involved removing graffiti from privately owned buildings and assets.

The council’s graffiti blitz ran from March 6 to June 30 to combat illegal graffiti and tagging, improve public spaces and ensure the city was visually appealing.

The clean-up comes as the City of Melbourne invested $28.2 million in its latest budget to tackle illegal graffiti including $1.5 million to expand the rapid response clean team.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp travelled to Singapore at the end of July for five days to meet with political and business leaders to discuss ways of addressing graffiti. •

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