Take Action to Stop Tagging

29 May 2012

We're experiencing another tagging outbreak in Wellington - particularly in the central city.

Seatoun residents planting out at Oruaiti Reserve

Cleaning up after taggers within 24 hours will discourage graffiti vandalism

We've been working on a series of street art projects and murals for the last few years, which is helping to cover up tagging and also prevent vandalism.

We're also working hard to clean up after taggers with our graffiti flying squad, but we're so inundated with calls at the moment that we'd like you to help by cleaning tagging off your properties as soon as possible.

City Safety Manager Robyn Steel says taggers typically seek 'fame' through tagging a particular area repeatedly.

"The best message you can give them as a property owner, or even better, as a neighbourhood, is to clean away their tags within 24 hours of them appearing. Taggers will eventually tire of it and move on.

"Rapid removal is the best way to prevent tagging reappearing because it reduces the recognition that taggers desire. It shows them that the area is being looked after. If tagging is left where it is for longer than this, it's likely they'll return to have another go. Also, if a tag is old, it will be harder to remove, so we recommend making it a priority."

There are many ways to remove tagging - it all depends on the surface type.

You can paint, sand, waterblast, polish or sandblast the surface. For more details on how to remove tagging, see:

Community Safety - Graffiti Removal

If you want to remove a tag, come to our Service Centre on Wakefield Street and we'll give you a free removal kit, which includes discount vouchers for Resene paint.

Robyn says if you have difficulty removing it yourself, give the Council a call on (04) 499 4444.

"We'd also appreciate it if you could phone in if you see tagging on Council property.

"If you see tagging taking place, don't confront the offender - phone the police on 111. If it's after the fact, phone (04) 381 2000 to have it reported as an offence. The police are as keen as you are to catch the offenders.

"Tagging isn't just a Council problem or a Police problem, it's a community problem and we need as many people on board as possible to help us to deal with it."

The Council is offering $100 rewards to people who help Police nab taggers around Wellington, particularly in Kelburn, Kilbirnie, Island Bay, Newtown and Tawa.

If you suspect your teenager is tagging, talk to them about the consequences, the damage they do and the cost the victims have to pay for repair work - which is sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars.