Vandals have “graduated” to defacing the rooftops of shops in downtown Hastings. For just the first quarter of the year, Hastings District Council spent $20,022 removing graffiti. That could turn into $80,000 of ratepayers’ money by year’s end. I know that’s where you want your money to go!

For the same first quarter, HDC received only $81.08 in reparation from offenders.

Incredibly, some people refer to these taggers as “budding artists” who simply need more productive outlets.

We’re curious. Which of the following steps do you think would do the most to discourage this kind of vandalism?

1. Providing more art classes for these budding artists.
2. Requiring offenders to pay 100% of clean-up costs (plus any fines).
3. Banning the sale of spray paint to anyone under age 18.
4. Mounting more video surveillance cameras in the central business area.
5. Cutting off the right thumb of the next offender who is caught.
6. Requiring the parents of offenders to participate personally in the clean-up of their childrens’ graffiti.
7. Giving offenders a stern talking to.
8. Sending offenders to Central Hawke’s Bay Paintball so they can “work out their issues.”
9. Sentencing offenders to hand painting roadway center lines throughout the Bay.
10. Making affected shopowners organize their own community patrols since the police can’t seem to get on top of the problem.

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