The West

Tag database aids vandal crackdown
Picture: Facebook

A steadily growing database of graffiti vandalism and tags is helping police crack down on vandalism across the state.

Run last week, Operation Eraser 8 saw 507 charges laid for crimes ranging from criminal damage to stealing, burglary and drug offences, up 62 from Operation Eraser 7.

Transport Unit Senior Sergeant Rob Lewis said the jump reflected increased intelligence on specific vandals and their tags.

“We have been building a database of offenders and their tags, which increasingly helps us target the right areas,” Sen Sgt Lewis said.

“More than 58 per cent of the charges preferred during the operation were related to graffiti damage.”

He said the variety of charges reflected the link between vandalism and crime such as burglary, car theft and drug use.

A recently convicted Perth vandal is now serving a seven-month jail term.

“It’s important to halt the offending as early as possible,” Sen Sgt Lewis said.

The recent crackdown has not been without controversy, with a $20,000 piece from graffiti artist Stormie Mills mistakenly painted over after a foul-up from the Town of Vincent.

Running periodically since 2011, Operation Eraser has resulted in the apprehension of 1021 offenders for 2969 offenders.

Police are tracking vandals using a tag database. File picture: The West Australian

Results from Operation Eraser 8

Arrests 59
Summons 106
Juvenile Justice Team referrals 14
Juvenile cautions 11
Total apprehensions 190

Graffiti/Criminal Damage 296
Burglary 17
Steal Motor Vehicle 7
Stealing 32
Trespass 5
Drug Offences 32
Total charges 507

The West Australian

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