Last year, just before the annual Ferragosto festival in Five Dock, I suggested to one of our councillors that they should do a graffiti "spring clean" along Great North Road where the festival is held. I'm not sure if it was my suggestion that actually led to the cleanup happening or not, but the area was spruced up.
In the process, a police officer issued a parking ticket to the council graffiti truck for parking in a "no stopping" zone outside Fred Kelly Place, where a cleanup was taking place. The truck has to park close to the site being cleaned, as the pressure hose will only reach so far, and there are limited places where a truck of that size can stop.
You might think that a police officer would exercise a bit of common sense and not issue a ticket to a council worker carrying out this sort of duty - but that was not the case.
Therefore, let me return the favour by posting this photo of a police van illegally parked in the same spot on 20 November 2008 at 1.40pm. As I watched, an officer came out of the fish and chip shop up the road with several bags of fish and chips and jumped into the van, which then moved off. I presume that was lunch for the staff back at the Burwood station.
The police van was there for some minutes - for all I know they waited there the entire time the fish was frying. They didn't appear to be responding to a crime - they were responding to hunger pangs.
Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't have posted this photo - but when I found out that the council graffiti truck had been ticketed for parking here whilst performing a useful community service, I decided to post it. Are some police officers deliberately trying to destroy any hope of inter-governmental cooperation of tackling graffiti? Was this really in the public interest? Whose side is this particular police officer on - the community or the criminals?
It's a sad day when the police decide that raising revenue by ticketing a council graffiti cleanup truck is more important than actually tackling those that put the graffiti there in the first place.