9 September 2022

Griffith City Council offers $5000 reward to curb vandalism

| Oliver Jacques
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Street Scapes trailer

Plants were stolen from Street Scapes. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

Griffith City Council is offering a reward of up to $5000 to residents for information resulting in the conviction of those damaging council property, following a spate of vandalism and theft across Griffith in the past month.

The latest incident occurred on Monday, 5 September, when vandals targeted Street Scapes, a popular council initiative in which Memorial Park is fitted with colourful seating and hosts a range of outdoor activities. A metal bar was forcibly removed from an exhibit trailer and several plants were stolen.

This follows incidents at the City Park, community gardens and the Jubilee amenities blocks, where vandals set fire to bins, damaging amenities, and left large amounts of rubbish behind.

Griffith Mayor, Councillor Doug Curran, expressed his concern over what appears to be an escalation of vandalism and damage to council property in town.

“Council is committed to providing the best possible facilities for our community to enjoy, but the increasing number of acts of vandalism makes it that much harder to ensure funds are being diverted to where they should be,” Cr Curran said.

“Over the last 12 months there have been a large number of attacks on council facilities, including plants being stolen from Yambil Street, graffiti and plants damaged at the Burley Griffin Community Gardens, damage to the new amenities block at Enticknap Park and sadly, so many more.

“I’m not sure what satisfaction these fools get from these actions but our community deserves better. We have organisations in our city looking to council to support their endeavours, but so much time and money needs to be used on fixing what these idiots keep doing – every time something is damaged or stolen, it has a significant impact on our community.”

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Director of infrastructure and operations Phil King said any works required to rectify vandalism had impacts on the council and the wider community.

“Firstly, vandalism diverts staff away from scheduled work and puts them behind – this then impacts on the ability to provide services to our community,” Mr King said.

“Secondly, the financial impact is an unexpected cost to repair or replace the damaged items, which also has a flow-on effect to our community. While sometimes the cost is minimal, other times it is significant and these funds cannot be recovered.”

rubbish all over toilet floor

Damage to council toilets, where rubbish was left behind. Photo: Griffith City Council.

Mayor Curran highlighted the reward on offer.

“Council has a policy in place (GC-CP-314) which is there to encourage the public to play a role in safeguarding the assets of the community,” he said. ”Under this policy, council will pay a reward of up to $5000 to members of the public for information resulting in the conviction against persons damaging council property – information received will be treated confidentially.”

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Cr Curran requested that all residents close to public reserves and parks adopt a Neighbourhood Watch-style approach. Any resident who has information relating to the identity of the culprits is asked to report the incident to the local police or the council on 1300 176 077.

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