Vandalism crackdown



HOUSEHOLDERS and businessmen have backed the Clarence Valley Council for putting a price on the head of vandals.

The council offers a reward of up to $2000 for information leading to the conviction of vandals.

Clarence Valley Mayor Ian Tiley said at this stage the reward only extended to council property but would help the community as well.

"What we are focusing on are convictions. If people are caught and stopped from damaging public property, it will help to stop them from doing it to private property, too," he said.

The reward applies to anything under the jurisdiction of the council, including buildings, street signs and damage to parks.

Cr Tiley said at this stage the council had not thought about extending the reward to vandalism of private property.

Grafton man David Smith, whose house has been vandalised many times, believes the council is moving in the right direction.

"It will definitely help," he said yesterday.

"More needs to be done, though. They really need to change the laws so that residents can have more protection over their property."

Black Toyota general manager Daniel Scott, whose company has

spent $20,000 on security, told a council meeting last week that vandalism was costing Valley businesses thousands of dollars.

Cr Tiley said yesterday community safety was paramount but the reward was only one of the steps taken in the fight against vandalism.

"The council is serious about fighting crime. We are working on a whole crime prevention plan; we've had community crime meetings and I plan to get together for talks with Chief Inspector Spooner (Grafton police) about the situation," Cr Tiley said.

Cr Tiley said council would take vandalism tip-offs to the police and if the information was sound, a reward would be paid, based on the damage cost.

If damage was less than $2000, the reward may be considerably less.

"If it's a street sign, for example, which cost $200, the reward wouldn't be the full amount," Cr Tiley said.

"The original idea came from the old Maclean council, where I remember a couple of people got some reward money."

In addition the former councils of Grafton City, Pristine Waters and Nymboida shire all had policies encouraging vandalism tip-offs.



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