Multiple graffiti attacks around town
INSULTED, intimidated and irate is how some elderly residents are feeling in the face of multiple graffiti attacks on the walls outside their residences at McKillop Place at St Kevin's Catholic Church in Bangalow by graffiti vandals.
Residents and business owners who contacted Byron Shire News are frustrated, claiming the name of the perpetrators may be known to authorities, yet seem able to operate with impunity vandalising buildings and signs around the town.
Some are calling for perpetrators to be named and shamed.
Meanwhile in Brunswick Heads, owner of the Big Fish Second Hand Shop, Jason Adamek is exasperated by the proliferation of tagging happening in his town.
"They just spray their tags on everything like dogs pissing on a wall," he said.
"These people are really brazen, it looks like they are actually using their real nicknames.
"This doesn't come out of nowhere; surely their parents must have seen them practising their tags on their pencil case and the like."
Like other property owners who spoke out, Mr Adamek believes the best response is for community members to get pro-active in removing the tags.
"What do we do in the meantime? Do we wait for council? It needs to be fixed instantly," he said.
Mr Adamek endorsed the actions of Byron Shire anti-graffiti campaigner Paul Waters who spent a long time fighting the scourge of graffiti in Byron Bay.
He and a group of fellow volunteers kept a can of grey paint in their cars ready to obliterate graffiti as soon as it appeared.
Members of the Bangalow community who spoke to Byron Shire News did so anonymously as they were fearful of retribution from the graffiti vandals.
"Most of us are pensioners who are seeing the accommodation fees we pay to the church wasted on cleaning up this mess," said one elderly female resident.
Michael Matthews, Manager Open Spaces and Resource Recovery at Byron Shire Council, agreed graffiti was an eyesore.
He said it was widely regarded that the best way to deter people who defaced public property was to remove the graffiti quickly, and Council placed a priority on the removal of offensive graffiti.
The removal of graffiti is sometimes undertaken by staff but in many cases it requires specialist skills to prevent damage to the surface of signs and buildings and Council employs a contractor to do this work.
"I encourage people to report graffiti by calling our Customer Service team on 66267000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so we can get it cleaned off," he said.
"Graffiti is unpleasant and is costly to remove both for Council, and members of the community who have to foot the bill for the cleaning of their fences and walls," he said.