$30 million graffiti question not hard to solve
With the revelation today that Transport NSW is spending $600,000 a week removing graffiti from stations and trains, questions are being raised as to what effect staff cuts are having on the incidence of vandalism.
RTBU Secretary Alex Claassens says that the government has their priorities wrong.
“We have got a government which is willing to spend $30 million every year to clean up graffiti, but isn’t willing to pay for staff to stop the vandalism in the first place,” Alex Claassens said.
“This government just doesn’t get that if you cut staff positions from stations, there are fewer eyes watching the platforms or the trains and this behavior is able to continue.”
Figures released by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, show the incidences of malicious damage — much of it graffiti related — on public transport premises rose by more than 17 per cent to 2240, in the 12 months to September this year.
The Union said that the government has made the problem worse by cutting station staff and security.
“Vandalism is getting worse but the government thinks that a few more security cameras will solve the problem, but surveillance doesn’t work unless you have staff there to do the monitoring in real time,” Claassens said.
“CCTV monitoring staff have been cut, private security contracts have been cut, and station staff are under continuing review and cuts.
“The government is cutting hundreds of staff, but can’t figure out why vandalism is increasing.”