Sunday, November 8, 2009

Will the government have the intestinal fortitude to follow through?

According to the news today, the state government is going to get really tough on graffiti vandals.

CHILDREN carrying spray-paint cans without a legitimate reason could face six months in jail under a revolutionary graffiti crackdown by the State Government.
It's all very well passing that sort of legislation. It's another matter entirely to put it into practice. I will bet that when the first juvenile is charged and put away under this new legislation, the SMH will be at the forefront of the attack on the government for locking up juveniles.

It takes a whole chain of people to lock someone away. The Police have to be willing to lay charges, rather than issue a caution. The Prosecutor has to be willing to prosecute fully and ask for a custodial sentence, rather than wimping out. The magistrate has to follow through with ordering jail time, rather than 3 weeks of supervised finger painting.

It's very rare that all those ducks line up. Somewhere along the line, one or more of these groups bottles it, and vandals walk free to carry on their merry trade.

I am not arguing for or against jail time - I am simply saying that it is easy to talk tough; it's much harder to turn tough words into tough actions.

An interesting development is the "clean up" day, where community groups will be issued chemicals and cleaning equipment. I wonder if they'll let us clean the Telstra exchange building in Five Dock? I hope so. The clean up day will be worth it if the only thing we do around here is remove the endless build up of graffiti from the local Telstra exchanges.

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