Sunday, May 19, 2024

Can you help identify these graffiti vandals?

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Police are working to identify the people seen tagging a wall in Howick in this CCTV image. Photo supplied

Police want to hear from anyone who can help identity several people captured on security camera defacing multiple locations in Howick village with green spray paint.

In an effort to track down the culprits, Howick Police sergeant Brett Meale has provided the Times with a photo that depicts the two offenders in action while tagging a wall beside Howick Village Optometrists in Picton Street.

The incident happened at about 3.45pm on December 18 and Meale wants to hear from anyone with information on who the vandals are.

Numerous locations in Howick village were tagged at the same time including an area near Rices Mall, on the side of the Monterey apartments, and near the block of shops that includes Subway and Pizza Hut, he says.

“It looks like they [the taggers] did their thing in the town centre and then we have some footage of them walking along Cook Street.

“Then there’s more [tagging] by Paparoa Park at the Litten Road shops.

“It’s the same paint and it all happened that night heading from Picton Street toward Cockle Bay.”

As the Times recently reported, the Howick ward last year experienced a 39 per cent increase in graffiti vandalism compared to 2021, with 1328 tags removed from within the Howick Local Board area.

Meale says the security camera photos show one of the taggers filming the other one as they deface a wall, “so it’s highly likely they put it up on social media”.

He says there’s a major impact for the business’s workers when they turn up and find their shop has been tagged.

“What value is there in doing that? It’s not like people are getting any money out of it. It’s a pointless crime.

“It causes a lot of cost, time, and resources for the people who have to paint over it and get it repaired.

“It’s one of those crimes that’s very anti-social and just a nuisance for the community.”
Howick Village Association manager Jane Newbury says the recent incidents of graffiti in the village are not only disappointing and unsightly, but also project an unsafe and unwelcoming image to the community and visitors.

“These incidents are needless acts of vandalism.

“Thankfully the Howick Village Association has a great relationship with the Beautification Trust, which is contracted to Auckland Council to remove graffiti from east and south Auckland’s public spaces.

“The trust provides a rapid response and in most cases graffiti can be removed within 24 hours.”

Newbury encourages local businesses and residents to report graffiti to the Beautification Trust on 0800 363 824.

According to the Summary Offences Act, a person is liable to a community-based sentence or a fine not exceeding $2000, or both, if he or she damages or defaces any property without lawful authority and the consent of its occupier or owner.

People with information on the culprits who tagged several locations in Howick village on December 18 can phone 105 and ask for the Howick Police station.

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