A Redland City Council anti-graffiti partnership with local police and a smart-phone app called Vandaltrak is literally “cleaning up” the City.
The joint effort, called Operation Hercinia, has recently led to two men being charged with more than 300 graffiti offences, with a new operation now being planned.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council’s use of the Vandaltrak app had provided important evidence during Operation Hercinia, helping to target graffiti offenders across the Bayside area.
“Officers from the Bayside Property Crime Team, working in partnership with Council and Vandaltrak, have been very successful in identifying and prosecuting recidivist graffiti offenders targeting the local area,’’ Cr Williams said.
“This is a powerful response to the problem of graffiti vandals who cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to Council infrastructure, fencing and signage, as well as private property. Vandals be warned – we will not let up.’’
As part of Operation Hercinia, a Cleveland man, 19, has been charged with 182 counts of wilful damage and a Cornubia man, 18, charged with 145 counts of wilful damage.
“Council will continue to work with the police in the future to identify offenders and restore areas targeted by graffiti,’’ Cr Williams said.
Infrastructure spokesman Cr Paul Gleeson (Division 9), whose anti-graffiti campaign led to the Redlands becoming the first Queensland city to utilise VandalTrak, said Council was now working with the Bayside Property Crime Team to support a safer communities funding application to increase the ability of police to detect graffiti through the use of CCTV cameras.
“Since VandalTrak started in the Redlands in May 2013, more than 3500 jobs have been logged – that’s about five a day,’’ Cr Gleeson said.
“VandalTrak allows users to photograph graffiti and log the location and time it was found. The information is sent back to the administrators of the app, before it is passed on to police and Council.
“It has made a huge difference to the City, particularly in the retail and commercial hub of Capalaba.”
The VandalTrak app is available for both iOS and Android devices or can be accessed at www.vandaltrak.com.au.