Retailers have labelled a graffiti attack along shop fronts on Corowa’s main street as ‘senseless’ and ‘disappointing’.
Sandra Dunn from Gyles Newsagency noticed straight away the words ‘chicken strips’ and a smiley face spray painted on the newsagency wall upon arriving at work on Friday morning.
“It’s very obvious, you can’t miss it,” she said.
“It’s really disappointing because you work hard to have your shop looking nice.”
The graffiti was spray painted sometime between the hours of late Thursday night and early Friday morning.
Black spray paint was used in all the graffiti markings that start on the wall next to the Corowa Post Office and seem to finish at the bottom of the street at the Globe Hotel.
The graffiti at the Globe Hotel was first noticed two weeks ago and is similar to the markings of the new graffiti that has popped up.
The graffiti out the front of the newsagency was the only one that featured words, while the rest of the graffiti markings appear to be symbols or smiley faces.
Security cameras along Sanger Street are being checked and the vandalism has been reported to police.
The graffiti has infuriated Doc Yarrum Cafe owner Darren Graham who said it was senseless.
“It’s just a waste of everyone’s time and someone has to come and clean it off now,” he said.
“There are a number of graffiti spots all up and down the street and we are trying to spend money on making the street look nice and people are going around and doing this.
“You would hope this doesn’t happen again.”
Mr Graham suspected that the offenders were young.
“Obviously by the artwork they are pretty young,” he said.
“It just shows the lack of police presence in town probably.”
Business owners plan to remove the graffiti as soon as possible.
New laws were introduced in NSW back in 2014 to make it easier for police to deal with graffiti crime and allow for more offenders to clean up their own vandalism.
The Graffiti Control Amendment Act not only makes creating graffiti illegal, but also prohibits a number of other related activities.
The biggest change is that the law no longer refers to paint or pen but a mark that can't be removed with water, detergent or wiping.
Also, a basic offence of making a mark without consent no longer needs to be seen from a public place.
Some of the main offences that are prohibited under the Graffiti Control Amendment Act include damaging or defacing property by use of a graffiti implement.
A graffiti implement can be a spray can, a marker pen or any other implement which is designed to leave a permanent mark that can’t be removed by detergent or water.
Damaging or defacing property includes intentionally defacing a premises or other property without the permission of the owner.
The maximum penalty for this offence is 12 months’ imprisonment or a $2200 fine.
Being caught with a graffiti implement (a spray can, marker pen or other instrument which can leave a permanent mark) is a criminal offence if it can be demonstrated that you had the intention of using it for graffiti purposes.
If you are caught with a graffiti implement, police can confiscate the implement.
The maximum penalty for this offence is six months’ imprisonment or a $2200 fine.
Courts can include a community clean-up order as part of a graffiti offender’s sentence even if it hasn’t been specifically sought by the prosecutor or offender.
Anyone with information on the graffiti attack in Sanger Street is urged to contact police.