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Tagging reduction scheme works
19 July 2008 The Timaru Herald

A scheme targeting tagging around Timaru is cleaning up the town and saving the council money.

The scheme launched in April aims for tagging to be painted out within 24 hours in many cases.

It is an initiative between the Timaru District Council, its safer communities committee, police, community probation and Neighbourhood Support.

Safer Communities project manager Jane Cullimore said the scheme is working.

There were still trouble spots around town but it hasn't escalated since the scheme was introduced.

Neighbourhood Support sends out a letter to people affected by tagging advising them on how to clean up the mess. If they are unable to remove the tagging it assigns the job to a team from community probation.

Community probation has been setting aside Tuesdays for teams of people sentenced to community work to remove tagging.

Ms Cullimore said the teams had cleaned up half a dozen big jobs for the council.

Resene-owned ColourShops are providing the council with paint to cover tagging and has donated over $150 worth of paint so far.

Last year the council spent about $100,000 contracting a company to clean up tagging.

Ms Cullimore said it too soon to say how much the council was saving but said: "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out the scheme is saving the council heaps."

The Timaru District Council have a form on their website that people can fill out to report tagging on council property such as parks, reserves and walkways.

The website urges people to contact the police if they see any suspicious activity and take down any details of the offender.

JOHN BISSET/Timaru Herald

TAG FREE: A community probation group paints over a fence marked with tagging.


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