Police nab city tagger

Warrnambool police Leading Senior Constable Lee Stewart and Acting Senior Sergeant Chris Asenjo have charged an individual with 46 offences relating to a graffiti spree. Picture: Rob Gunstone
Warrnambool police Leading Senior Constable Lee Stewart and Acting Senior Sergeant Chris Asenjo have charged an individual with 46 offences relating to a graffiti spree. Picture: Rob Gunstone
WHAT A MESS: Leading Senior Constable Lee Stewart has charged an individual with 46 offences relating to a graffiti spree. Picture: Rob Gunstone

WHAT A MESS: Leading Senior Constable Lee Stewart has charged an individual with 46 offences relating to a graffiti spree. Picture: Rob Gunstone

POLICE and community members are using sophisticated methods to track down the perpetrators of a rash of senseless graffiti tagging incidents across the city.

They say there is an increase of tagging, the practise of writing slogans or initials on property as many times as possible, and are urging the public to speak out if they see something.

They have recently nabbed a graffiti ‘tagger’ and charged him with 45 counts of criminal damage.

Senior Constable Lee Stewart said no matter how small the public may think a crime is, it is best to report it and let police investigate.

He has just finished an investigation into a spate of graffiti attacks, and a 20-year-old man has been charged and bailed to appear in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court.

“I don’t think people realise how much graffiti is around Warrnambool until you start looking,” Senior Constable Stewart said.

“Most of the victims are business or homeowners and Warrnambool City Council property.

“The offenders need to understand that it will be investigated. This man has not been the only one charged. There was one with 49 charges and another with 56.

“There has been over 12 offenders and nine search warrants. ”

He also advised there was CCTV cameras in the CBD and soon they would be installed at the city’s foreshore. 

Acting Senior Sergeant Chris Asenjo urged people to report any crimes, no matter how minor they were, so police could track incidents.

“It will be investigated to the best of our ability,” he said.

“Even a broken letterbox or graffiti on a fence will be investigated. If you report it, we can identify trends and patterns.

“If we catch one person that was committing one crime that was the same as three others in the street there’s a good chance that person has committed those offences as well.”

He said offenders needed to realise graffiti wasn’t a victimless crime. 

“There would be plenty of people who have woken up with graffiti on their fence and car,” he said.

“These people doing it will probably one day be homeowners themselves and it will happen to them.

“They need to understand that every crime, no matter how minor, has an impact on someone in our community.”