Surveillance job to catch Cardiff vandals

CARDIFF’S central business district was hit with about 100 graffiti tags over the weekend, sparking the town’s chamber of commerce to offer a surveillance job to catch offenders on camera.Cardiff Chamber of Commerce president Robert Denton spent much of the weekend cleaning up the mess.

“There’s three walls in this town within 200 metres of each other that I’ve removed graffiti from three times in the last two days,” Mr Denton said yesterday.

Mr Denton said nobody wanted to pay for a closed-circuit television system.

“The next best thing is to hire a photographer with a long lens to do covert surveillance,” he said.

“I’ll set them up on top of a roof with a few sleeping bags. They’ll have a perfect angle to where the offenders are doing it.”

Mr Denton said that he believed fewer than 10 people were responsible for the graffiti.

“They are juveniles. They have been caught before and it doesn’t seem to bother them,” he said.

The graffiti attack coincided with Lake Macquarie City Council’s crime prevention plan, approved last night, which said “graffiti must be prioritised in relation to safety for individuals within the community”.

“When we speak of safety, there is a clear and defining difference between damage to property and the safety of individuals,” the plan said.

“Personal safety will always be the priority for the local area command.”

The plan said “unfortunately, we may never completely resolve the issue of graffiti”.

A minority of individuals used graffiti “to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with their surroundings”.

Mr Denton said officials tried to play down “minor crime”, but he said it had many victims.

He said graffiti “hurts the economy” because it deterred consumers.

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