Parents asked to look out for graffiti taggers

Parents are being asked to look out for tell tale signs that their child might be involved in graffiti, to prevent them from getting a criminal record that could ruin their lives.

That’s the hard-hitting message from Merton Council which has launched the `Don’t raise an aerosol’, graffiti awareness campaign. Merton Council is urging mums and dads to be on the look out for the following danger signals:

Have you spotted “Tags” (graffiti signatures) on school books?
Are there spray cans or jumbo markers in your child’s room?
Do they have pictures of graffiti on their mobile phone or computer?
Have you noticed paint marks on clothes and hands?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then parents can get in touch with the council’s graffiti officers on 0208 545 4109 for advice on how to tackle the problem.
The penalty for being caught spraying graffiti on other people’s property ranges from an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO), fine up to £2,500 and up to 24 months imprisonment.

The council has decided to target parents directly as they are the ones, as local taxpayers, who will ultimately foot the clean up bill. Merton cleans the equivalent area of seven football pitches of graffiti every year and could buy 1,200 extra computers for schools with the cash spent on removing the blight.

Cllr Tariq Ahmad, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Graffiti is an eyesore that costs local taxpayers thousands of pounds to clear up. Parents can help by looking out for the tell tale signs that their child is involved in this anti-social behaviour. By working with us we can help to ensure their child doesn’t end up with a criminal record that could ruin their education and career prospects.”