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East Ventura County Focus

SIMI VALLEY : Council Toughens Anti-Graffiti Laws

January 13, 1994|SARA CATANIA

Continuing its crackdown on graffiti, the Simi Valley City Council has toughen city laws, including making parents liable for up to $10,000 in damages and fines resulting from their children's vandalism.

The legal changes, which will take effect in late February, also ban the sale of spray paint, etching tools and wide-tip markers to minors. Under the updated law, the city is offering a $1,000 reward to people who offer information that helps arrest and convict vandals.

The amendments are the latest actions in an effort by the city to strengthen its 4-year-old anti-graffiti ordinance.

More than 5,500 graffiti incidents have been reported to police since 1990, and the vandalism caused more than $200,000 in damage in a recent seven-month period, city officials said.

In recent months, the city has added a staff member to patrol streets in search of graffiti, contracted a local company to remove the marks within 24 hours and transferred responsibility of the program from the city's Environmental Services Department to Public Works.

"The community and the council have been very supportive in moving forward to wipe out graffiti," said Public Works Director Ron Coons. "We only hope these efforts will thwart the vandals from continuing."

Coons encouraged Simi Valley residents who spot graffiti to call the city's graffiti hot line at 583-6333.

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