THE CITY of Greater Bendigo spent $52,000 cleaning up approximately 150 graffiti incidents last financial year and needs a clear policy for how to handle it, council staff say.
They say it is unclear who should deal with some graffiti on public and private property and want councillors to tag their names to a new policy on Monday.
It could also help the council shift to preventative strategies that would cut down on the cost of clean-ups, they said.
That could include during the design phase of buildings and other assets, or by using materials that are easy to clean off, for example.
The council has long wanted a "graffiti free city" and prefers to clean up vandalism quickly as a matter of pride in its assets, and tends to discourage more incidents in an area.
It also has power to clean up graffiti on private property under the right circumstances.
The draft policy would require council workers to clean up offensive graffiti on its assets within 48 hours, and to fast-track arrangements with private property owners if it can be seen from a public place.
Graffiti can change people's sense of safety, council officers said in the draft policy.
"Some people may feel that an area with graffiti is unsafe and therefore may avoid areas," they said.
"The presence of graffiti may also increase feelings of fear and disorder in the local community and can distort perceptions around the actual level of crime and safety."
Council staff consulted with a wide range of people as they drafted the policy, including a La Trobe University expert and a Bendigo artist.
It also talked with the Department of Justice and groups that also often deal with graffiti, like V/Line.
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