Thanks to a partnership between the City of Newcastle and the Government of New South Wales, young people found guilty of vandalizing local properties will now have to remove graffiti from storefronts, as well as from the walls of houses and enterprises.
Traditionally, young offenders have removed graffiti from Council-owned property as part of their community service order. From January, private homeowners will be able to apply through the City of Newcastle to have graffiti removed from their home or business for free, as part of a 12-month trial.
Newcastle City CEO Jeremy Bath said the benefits of the program go far beyond cleaning up vandalized properties.
“Not many people know that over the past 20 years, the City of Newcastle has supported young offenders through various community programs, with participants working side by side with our outdoor cleaning crews to learn new skills including removing graffiti, ”says Bath.
“This is a great program that teaches young offenders that community owned buildings often house important community services that deserve to be respected and protected.
“Almost 1,500 young people have worked with our staff over the past two decades to improve the appearance and cleanliness of the city’s CBD, and in doing so, learn new skills that encourage them to respect public property.
“Now is the time to expand the program so that home and business owners whose properties have been tagged can request that the graffiti be removed at no cost to them.
“If a resident or owner discovers graffiti, they just need to fill out an online form on the City of Newcastle website and a Youth Justice NSW Community Service Order Program team will be in contact to confirm when they will come to remove. graffiti.
Newcastle Youth Justice Bureau Regional Director Damian Baker said the graffiti removal program provides participants with an opportunity to give back to the community while developing new skills.
“The funding provided by the City of Newcastle has helped program participants prepare for work, access employment and training through TAFE NSW and other employment network providers,” said Mr. Baker.
“Our goal is to equip young participants with the foundational and transferable skills needed to help them gain an edge in a competitive labor market for low-skilled jobs.
“The Newcastle Community Youth Justice Office has received much praise from the City of Newcastle and the Department of Communities and Justice for supporting the continued commitment to provide repair and beautification work to the city. “
Plans to resume the current graffiti removal program and additional private sector service will begin from January 2022.
The City of Newcastle is supporting Youth Justice NSW and its rehabilitation program with funding to help purchase equipment, materials and personal protective equipment for participants.