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Wollongong City Council

Proactive Graffiti Removal trial given tick of approval

Wednesday 24 November 2021

We’re pleased to share that our recent Proactive Graffiti Removal trial has been a major success! Over the past six months, we trialled a new approach to how we target illegal and offensive graffiti in public spaces by funding additional resources and taking a more proactive approach.

Council has a target to remove non-offensive graffiti from public spaces within 20 working days. We achieve this goal nearly 100% of the time and we average around 230 graffiti removal jobs each month.

This trial proactive graffiti program aimed to remove offensive graffiti at an even faster rate. Now that the results are in, we’ve recorded a massive increase in the removal of offensive graffiti around our community. In response to this, Council has decided to make this trial program a permanent part of our work schedule.

“We measure how successful Council is at removing offensive graffiti by looking at the percentage of times we’re able to target and remove offensive graffiti within two working days, from when it was first recorded,” Wollongong City Council Manager City Works Corey Stoneham.

“Before the trial began, we were roughly averaging a 30% success rate of removing offensive graffiti in this two-day window. Now, we’ve managed to push this close to 80% of the time. This is a fantastic achievement for the trial program.

“Council now plans to make the Proactive Graffiti Removal trial a permanent tool in our toolbox when it comes to managing and removing offensive graffiti.”

This isn’t the only way we work to keep our community clean and tidy and free of illegal graffiti. Council works closely with a number of community groups, businesses and community champions such as the Corrimal Chamber of Commerce, Corrective Services, Rotary Club of Dapto and Essential Personnel to target and address graffiti in our suburbs. We also run graffiti prevention activities such as offering residents a free graffiti removal kit, commissioning community murals on Council buildings and running graffiti prevention and education programs in our local schools.

Read more in our media release: ‘Mural captures the heart of Coledale’.

Last year, we partnered with the Corrimal Chamber of Commerce to launch a Graffiti Response Team to target illegal graffiti on private and public property. This initiative, led by the Corrimal Chamber of Commerce, aimed to encourage community members to take a more active role in flagging illegal graffiti with the right authorities so that it could be dealt with in a timely manner.

Corrimal Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Paul Boultwood said he was pleased to work with Wollongong City Council and the Dapto Rotary Graffiti Removal Team on this fantastic project.

“The program started when we were contacted by Northern Suburbs locals about the amount of graffiti through the first lockdown last year on public and private assets throughout Wollongong,” Mr Boultwood said.

“We contacted Wollongong City Council and the Dapto Rotary Graffiti Removal Team to become partners in the project to remove any reported graffiti as quickly as possible. I encourage all citizens to report any graffiti via Council to share details about where it’s located so we can remove it.”

“This initiative was a real team effort by Council, Corrimal Chamber of Commerce and our broader community,” Mr Stoneham said.

“It really goes to show what’s possible when we all work together to make a difference on a local level. With the success of Council’s Proactive Graffiti Removal trial and the partnership of the Graffiti Response Team, we’ve been able to make a small but important difference to the look and feel of our community.”

You can report illegal graffiti to Council by calling (02) 4227 7111, by submitting an online form or calling the NSW Police on 131 444.