CCTV helps nab graffiti ringleaders

THE city’s beefed-up security camera presence has helped police collar three of the city’s suspected graffiti ringleaders.

Two 20-year-olds and a 21-year-old, all from Tamworth, were charged this week after council handed over CCTV footage to police of the men allegedly spraying graffiti “tags” in the CBD.

Chairman of the Tamworth Crime Prevention Committee, Cr Russell Webb, paid credit to police and council rangers for securing the arrests.

“A lot of the credit must to the rangers for preparing the evidence for police,” Cr Webb said.

“There are obviously other offenders out there, but they need to know we are hot on their trail.

“There are a number of cameras across the city, some of them mobile, and they provide very strong evidence.

“This is just the beginning. If you are a graffiti artist and you’re putting your tag up in a public place, then you’re bound to get caught.”

He said tracking down and charging graffiti artists would help save ratepayers money and engender civic pride.

“It is a big cost saving for clean-ups, for starters,” Cr Webb said.

“Graffiti lowers the pride people have in their community and when visitors come in, they see it not for the great city it is, but as a messy place. That’s not the image we want to portray.”

The three offenders were charged by Tamworth Police’s Target Action Group with malicious damage and will face court on a date to be fixed.

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