Communities across Australia are now using technology to track incidents of vandalism and graffiti as a deterrent to repeat offending, and as a graffiti prevention strategy.
The process to report and track vandalism in Australia was not standardised, with police departments, local councils and community groups all having separate processes and databases in which to track graffiti.
This led to vandals not being held responsible for the full extent of their crimes. Often they were charged only with the crime they were caught in the act of committing, leading to lighter sentencing and reoffending. The cost on the justice system was not worth the result, and this left the community feeling powerless and angry.
Many residents and small businesses were putting up with the cost of malicious vandalism by just painting over it, or engaging a graffiti removal expert to clean the damage with no evidence left to use against offenders.
The Community Fights Back
A mobile app, VandalTrak, puts the power to report graffiti into the hands – and smartphones – of the community.
Tags are intended to be visible and identifiable, as the vandal seeks notoriety for the quantity of locations they are able to tag. The app uses that identifying feature as a way to compile reports to capture the extent of the damage caused by an individual, by adding incidents to its Graffiti Register.
VandalTrak uses mobile GPS technology and the phone camera to capture the time, date and location of offences. The report is uploaded via an app, and the results are categorised and accessible to law enforcement, clean-up groups, utility companies, contractors and local councils.
By tracking this data and effectively compiling it, an offender caught in the act for one malicious act can be held accountable by the courts for all the other graffiti vandalism that has been reported by the community.
This acts as an effective deterrent, as the vandal now knows that if they are caught they will be charged with much more that the singular offence they were caught commiting, resulting in harsher sentencing, bigger fines and even jail time.
While police departments across Australia have their own community reporting programmes such as CrimeStoppers, and local councils have their own procedures, VandalTrak works across all departments.
To date, the app has been used to report over 56,000 incidents with more than 200,000 photos submitted.
So you’ve now reported your graffiti vandalism and wish to have it removed. The Graffiti Eaters have 40 years’ experience in performing graffiti removal for commercial properties, schools, body corporates and homeowners across Australia. Contact us to request your quote!