POLICE are warning graffiti artists to leave private property alone after Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper's van and a school were vandalised.

The offender, believed to be a private school boy, used a wearable action video camera to film himself spray painting a school.

He painted the tag "vision" and a symbol linked to communist Russia - the hammer and sickle.

The offender is also suspected of a similar attack earlier this month in which the communist symbol was painted on Labor Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper's van.

Townsville police Inspector Roger Whyte said there were certain periods of the year when graffiti became a problem in the region.

He said police used intelligence to identify the pattern of offences.

Aaron Harper's driving billboard vandalised overnight in Kirwan.
Aaron Harper's driving billboard vandalised overnight in Kirwan.

"If we see there is graffiti with a tag that is known to us, it gives us an opportunity to have a chat with them (offenders)," he said.

CCTV is also used to identify graffiti artists.

Townsville City councillor Russ Cook, chair of the Community Safety Advisory Committee and a former police officer, said the council had initiatives to keep youth away from offending.

"We have two street-art graffiti walls and they are used frequently," he said.

"There are some very talented young people out there. It can be very hard to paint things to scale but they seem to do it with ease.

"They can even turn it into a career path.

"But we want them to take the right turn rather than the wrong turn in life."

He said graffiti gave areas the wrong look.

A graffiti artist films himself painting in Townsville.
A graffiti artist films himself painting in Townsville.

However some businesses in Townsville are using graffiti to draw customers.

Cr Cook said businesses had, on their own initiative, employed and paid street artists to paint their buildings.

"It turns a negative into a positive, which can only be a good thing, and keeps young people off the street," he said.

"At these freestanding walls, when they leave there are no cans lying around, rubbish or drugs paraphernalia.

"We want people going down to the walls instead of going out and doing graffiti."


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