Drug dealing tags alarm resident
Nelson resident Karen Dean is fed up with graffiti not being removed, including stencils used to identify meeting places for buying drugs.
Examples of the graffiti includes tags under bridges by Riverside and Collingwood St. While some has been removed, others have been there since early June, said Mrs Dean.
She wonders if the Nelson City Council has changed its policy on promptly removing graffiti, but its executive manager network services Alec Louverdis confirmed to the Nelson Mail that it had not.
Mrs Dean said she found out about the stencilled graffiti doubling as a means of identifying places for dealing when she overhead teenagers by the Riverside bridge talking on their phones to arrange a delivery, and spoke to them. "It's another reason why these need to be painted out quickly."
She said she also called Nelson police to tell them.
Nelson Bays police area commander Steve Greally said they would follow up on the information. "The war on drugs is something we are stepping up because it's one of the drivers of crime and we're keen to know about this sort of thing.
"If anyone else had information that can corroborate that we'd be interested to hear."
Mr Louverdis said residents were urged to report graffiti through the council's customer service centre direct.
Mrs Dean said she rang to report graffiti on June 15, went into the council's customer service centre twice, and again called the centre last Friday.
Mr Louverdis said its records indicated that on August 24 someone had reported graffiti near the Maitai footbridge by the Riverside Pool, on Normanby Bridge, on the Maitai Footbridge, at the changing rooms at the Botanics and on the backs of buildings that border Queen's Gardens along the bush walk. "Our contractor did remove graffiti the same day from a number of these sites."
Mrs Dean said calling the centre had made her feel like a criminal. "It's like you are always complaining. But some of this graffiti has been here since June. It's starting a precedent in not cleaning this off instantly as used to happen."
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