29 Mar 2010

Taggers turn to new tools following spray can ban

6:29 am on 29 March 2010

The ban on selling spray cans to people under the age of 18 appears to have led to a decline in spray-paint graffiti - but taggers are turning to other methods

The Ministry of Justice says there's evidence graffiti vandals are turning to marker pens, correction fluid and lighters.

In 2006, at the height of the graffiti problem in Manukau, 300,000 tags were removed from the area, while in the year to June 2009 that had dropped to between 60,000 and 70,000.

Manukau's community safety co-ordinator in charge of graffiti, Sergeant Ian Pengelly, says those who now can't get hold of spray cans are marking surfaces in ways that can be even more expensive to remove.

He says scratching into glass is becoming more common, and replacing a vandalised windows can cost up to $1000.