Tauranga South Police have completed a two day operation targeting a number of offenders responsible for tagging in the Merivale and Welcome Bay areas.
Detective Sergeant Rob Lemoto says that so far, Police have dealt with six offenders who have admitted to more than 100 offences. The offenders range from 13 years of age to 18 years.
He says five youths have been referred to Youth Aid. Two adults face 29 charges in the Tauranga District Court.
Detective Sergeant Lemoto says Graffiti is a large problem in the Western Bay of Plenty, not only is it distressing for victims but also poses a significant cost to them. The cost to victims for this offending was in excess of $45,000.
During this operation Police recovered bed head boards, mirrors, correspondence, spray cans, marker pens, computers, cameras and phones.
Detective Sergeant Lemoto says all of these items contained evidence of graffiti.
He says that parents should be aware that if their youth are using social media to show their offending, Police will seize the item used as an exhibit.
He says an extensive 'social network' phase has also seen Facebook accounts closed with the offenders brought to the attention of the administration of this social network.
"They have zero tolerance for these types of users and have taken immediate action against them by shutting down their 'profiles' and banning these people from operating any profile on their network.
"Police and the administrators remind parents they have a responsibility to supervise their youth around the use of social networks."
Detective Sergeant Lemoto says that Police have a low tolerance to this type of offending and this operation is on going.
"Often Graffiti is a catalyst to more serious crime."
He reminds members of the public who see graffiti happening to please report it immediately by calling 111.
"As with any crime, the sooner Police are informed, the better chance we have of apprehending the offenders and being able to hold them accountable; there are systems in place to hold offenders accountable, regardless of their age.
"If your property is the subject of graffiti, it's important to paint it out as soon as possible. Research shows that the quick removal of graffiti is the best deterrent against future graffiti."
If you notice graffiti in a public place, please contact Tauranga City Council.