Are Griffiti Laws Meeting Society´s Expectation in Australia? Essay

Are Griffiti Laws Meeting Society´s Expectation in Australia? Essay

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Law makers establish legislation in response to the ever changing beliefs in society. Yet, current graffiti laws still do not meet society’s expectations. Many people believe that offenders convicted of a graffiti offence do not receive harsh enough sentences and therefore these laws must to be amended. Graffiti falls under the law of wilful damage, this law strives to eliminate damage or destruction to property. Mr O'Hara reported that more than 128,000 square metres of graffiti was removed from Brisbane assets in 2013. In 2012 The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that more than 25% of neighbourhoods over Australia have severe graffiti problems. To meet the expectations of society, law makers must think about possible reforms that are going to agree with Australia’s underlying principles of retribution, deterrence and rehabilitation.

Under the Criminal Code 1899 (QLD) an individual cannot be charged specifically with graffiti, but can still be lawfully punished. The act of graffiti falls under the wilful damage to property. The legislation describes graffiti to be the act of unlawfully and wilfully defacing public property. The Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) S 469 SS (9) SSS(1) states “If the property in question is in a public place, or is visible from a public place, and the destruction or damage is caused by spraying, writing, drawing, marking or otherwise applying paint or another marking substance; or scratching or etching…” The penalty for graffiti can vary according to age. If the offender is 12 or over who is found guilty or pleaded guilty, a court may make a graffiti removal order. “whether or not it imposes any other penalty for the offence, order the offender to perform community service… for example removing graffi...


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...n should be learning from. In 2011 Barry O’Farrell introduced new punishment for convicted graffitists. Under the Graffiti Control Act (NSW) Part 4A it states “Alternative and additional actions to impose penalties for certain graffiti offences include… suspension of driver licence” (New South Wales Consolidated Acts, 2008) The majority of graffiti offenders are boys and research shows that boy love their cars, by the threat of confiscating their licence these young offenders are deterred. Introducing this law in Queensland will decrease the graffiti within communities.

Graffiti laws are currently not meeting society’s expectations. Moral beliefs and personal and local economic issues have raised within society from the lack of enforcement. Introducing new laws specific to graffiti will ensure convicted offenders with retribution, deterrence and rehabilitation.



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