Tagging problem costs thousands

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 05:00 26/04/2014

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An angry Invercargill businessman is disgusted at the "increasing problem" of tagging in Invercargill and says the city council is doing little to fix it.

Escape Glass owner Carey McDowall said tagging was such a problem he would now have to fork out thousands of dollars for a security system and to clean up a hand-painted sign.

His building had been tagged four times in the last three weeks.

It had been tagged in the past and he had cleaned it himself but was now leaving it up to Invercargill City Council.

"I have had a guts full . . . Three weeks after the first tag, and several calls to the Invercargill City Council later, still no action," he said.

Taking things into his own hands, he offered a $500 reward on Facebook and got information about one of the taggers, but he said police told him if the taggers were not caught in the act or on camera, nothing could be done.

"I am now faced with the expense of installing monitored cameras to try and easy my growing frustration."

He believed if ratepayers knew how much the council spent cleaning up tagging, more would be done to prevent it happening. Figures show the council spent $10,620 in 2011-12 and $9650 in 2012-2013 cleaning up graffiti.

ICC director of works and services Cameron McIntosh said the council responded to tagging but the level of response had not yet increased to match the rise in tagging.

He advised those who reported tagging to the council to also report it to police.

"If people don't file a complaint to police they have nothing to act on."

Meanwhile, the Southland community have voiced their disappointment at the vandalism of Stadium Southland

Stadium Southland operations and events manager Ryan Sycamore said the community had shown its support for their stadium through social media after a story in The Southland Times yesterday.

A video of the perpetrators on southlandtimes.co.nz, had been shared on Facebook.

Expressing their disappointment, many people also left comments with resourceful ways to deal with the culprits, he said.

People had also shown up at the stadium with useful hints and tips on how to remove the paint without doing too much damage.

However remedial work would still be very costly, Sycamore said. 

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