Two Christchurch retailers will be charged after they were found breaching anti-graffiti rules designed to restrict access to spray cans.
Under legislation introduced in 2008 to help curb graffiti, paint spray cans may only be sold to people aged 18 years or over.
In a joint police and Christchurch City Council controlled purchase operation last week 15 spray can retailers across the city were visited by a 16-year old volunteer under Police supervision.
Senior Sergeant Glenn Nalder says the volunteer attempted to purchase spray cans in all 15 stores.
"It is encouraging that most stores refused to sell to the 16-year old," he says.
"Unfortunately two stores did sell spray cans to the volunteer. Those making the sales will be charged and put before the court.
"These prosecutions will not stop all graffiti in our city, but retailers do play a part in denying taggers the tools of their trade. Further controlled purchase operations are planned," says Senior Sergeant Nalder.
The stores, one in New Brighton and one in Sydenham, will be charged with selling spray cans to under 18s, and will be liable for a fine of up to $1,500. A court date has not yet been set.
Christchurch City Council community support manager Carolyn Gallagher says police, the City Council and other groups are maintaining their focus on graffiti in the city.
"Graffiti can quite quickly lead to community perceptions of insecurity," she says.
"Together we are increasing our education, prevention and enforcement activities to ensure graffiti doesn't get out of hand in our city."
Dealing With Graffiti
• If you see a tagger in the act call the Police on 111.
• If you discover tagging or graffiti on your property or see it on structures such as fences and playgrounds report it to the Christchurch City Council on 941 8999 or 0800 VANDAL (0800 826 325). The CCC can remove graffiti in many cases.
• If you would like to become a graffiti removal volunteer please call the CCC on 941 8999 or 0800 VANDAL.