Young offenders to clean graffiti

YOUNG offenders are to be put to work cleaning graffiti as part of a pilot project in Cork city.

The extension of the scheme, which has been piloted in the Mahon area, was rubber-stamped at a council meeting last night.

The pilot project was set up between Cork City Council and the Probation Service following months of talks. It is based on similar projects operating in South Dublin County Council for the last year, and in the Dublin City Council area for a few weeks.

The Cork project will see offenders sentenced to Community Service Orders being assigned to supervised teams, managed by the Probation Service.

The city council’s Social Housing Section will identify areas where graffiti is a problem and the teams will move in to those areas to begin the clean-up.

The Probation Service has three supervisors and a mini-bus to transport the teams, so the only cost to the city will be the supply of cleaning chemicals.

While the initial focus will be on cleaning up areas of social housing, it is expected other areas will be added as the project develops.

Fianna Fáil councillor Tony Fitzgerald welcomed the extension of the project and said it will be a cost effective way for the city to remove graffiti and it will give an opportunity to the Probation Service to further develop the potential of the Community Service Scheme into areas such as litter removal.

“The Probation Service has an excellent track record of working closely with community groups and state agencies and this particular pilot project will enhance the public realm and promote a clean and healthy environment across the city,” Mr Fitzgerald said. “We do, however, need to identify who the people are who continue to destroy areas and public buildings, as ita form of antisocial behaviour.”

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