Defacing property by graffiti vandalism is an act of intentional damage and constitutes a criminal offence in New Zealand. Individuals using aerosol paint cans or markers, to leave a series of symbols or tags, usually commit graffiti. The tag identifies a particular individual, or group, as an advertisement to other taggers for recognition. Status is conveyed by the more prominent the tag is, and the more times it appears. If not removed, atthe earliest opportunity, the tag will be repeated frequently over the surrounding area, and other taggers will be attracted to compete, resulting in an area being inundated with graffiti.
If ignored, the spread of graffiti in a street can convey a visible message that the community is not concerned about appearance, and does not care. Apart from potential lowering of property values, an image of urban decay can generate a fear of neighbourhood crime, and may attract crime.
Ron Price, Community Patrol volunteer, together with Community Constable Spike Dickey are waging the war against graffiti in Whakatāne. A constant and ongoing problem with Horizon Networks assets being tagged all over town, Ron is painting out the graffiti as quickly as it is appears. This has now become a daily task keeping our assets clean and green.
Horizon Networks supplies the paint and brushes, and thanks to Ron with his cheerful nature, dedication and willingness to give up his time, is a wonderful inspiration not only to Horizon Networks, but to our town as well.
Horizon Networks wishes to extend a big thank you to Ron and the Community Patrol members.