Placing stickers on government signs could be seen as a criminal offence.
Recently, a sticker was placed on the Harington Street stop sign in the Tauranga CBD. It was placed so the sign read ‘STOP eating animals’.
A Tauranga City Council spokesperson says the council is aware of the sticker on the sign and says several similar cases have been brought to their attention.
“We are aware that several ‘STOP’ traffic signs in the city centre have been defaced with these stickers.
“A job to remove them was logged with our contractor prior to Christmas. We anticipate the stickers being removed shortly.”
Manager of network safety and sustainability, Martin Parkes says council considers this to be intentional damage similar to the criminal offence of defacing property by graffiti vandalism.
“It may potentially be treated more seriously than graffiti given that it is a ‘STOP’ traffic sign used to control traffic. Interference with traffic signs has the potential to cause crashes and serious harm.
“If the offenders are identifiable – such as through CCTV footage, or a witness statement – then council, or any member of the public who witnesses such behaviour, can report the offenders to the police.
“It would be a matter for the police to investigate and determine whether they would prosecute the offence.”