Police urge parents to dob in vandals

Police are pleading with the friends and family of some of the State's most prolific and elusive graffiti vandals to dob them in before their criminal behaviour escalates to more serious offences.

Police have launched the ninth Operation Eraser this week and hope readers of The West Australian will be able to help identify the 18 people pictured above.

Insp. Ricky Chadwick said the repair and clean-up bill for WA's graffiti vandals was $30 million.

The faces featured as part of Operation Eraser are alleged to have been involved in vandalism on public transport, apartment buildings, homeless shelters, hospitals, a television broadcaster and other private property.

In the past financial year, WA Police reported an 82 per cent fall in graffiti offences from their highest levels in 2007-2008.

The past eight Operation Eraser crackdowns have caught 1021 people and charged them with more than 2900 offences.

Insp. Chadwick said it was vital parents and guardians of young people believed to be involved in graffiti intervened.

"As a gateway crime, it has shown unfortunately a good proportion of offenders engaging in graffiti vandalism progress through to other type crimes, drug use," he said. "They generally feed off each other and their criminal behaviour escalates."

Juvenile cautions and diversion programs often require youths to remove graffiti and speak to victims and do not involve getting a criminal record.

"At the end of the day, the hard work done in the front end by a parent diverting their children away from this type of activity will pay long-term dividends," Insp. Chadwick said.

The Salvation Army says it has spent thousands of dollars on an anti-graffiti coating on its new homelessness facility in Northbridge because of graffiti attacks.

A man vandalised the entire side wall of The Beacon, on the corner of Aberdeen and Nash streets, between 7pm and 8pm on September 11.

The Salvation Army's Kris Halliday said the anti-graffiti coating was an unfortunate necessity.

"The public's been really supportive of us creating this nice, fresh dignified space for people who want to break away from poverty and away from the streets and this stuff is a real kick in the guts," he said.

Anyone with information on the identities of any of the people pictured should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Parents wanting more information on dealing with youths engaging in graffiti should go to www.goodbyegraffiti.wa.gov.au

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