Northern beaches vandalism: Bill for ratepayers tops $1 million

COST BURDEN: Vandalism has cost ratepayers almost $1 million during the past five years. Picture: Dallas Kilponen
COST BURDEN: Vandalism has cost ratepayers almost $1 million during the past five years. Picture: Dallas Kilponen

ALMOST $1 million in taxpayers' money has been shelled out to repair damage caused by vandals, with one councillor calling for CCTV and alarms to be installed.

The damage bill for the past five years for council owned buildings in the Pittwater and Narrabeen wards came as an "absolute shock", councillor Vincent De Luca said.

"I honestly thought it would be around the $500,000 mark," he said. "This is ratepayers' money that's being wasted on these buildings that are being vandalised."

A report to council shows that two recently renovated buildings have been targeted by vandals 47 times since 2019. They include Narrabeen Amateur Swimming Club (39 times) and North Narrabeen Reserve Sports Amenities North (8 times).

Elanora Heights Community Centre has been targeted twice by vandals since 2017.

FIX IS NEEDED: Councillor Vincent De Luca says a council report revealed that Narrabeen Amateur Swimming Club is the most vandalised place in the northern part of the northern beaches. Picture: Dallas Kilponen

FIX IS NEEDED: Councillor Vincent De Luca says a council report revealed that Narrabeen Amateur Swimming Club is the most vandalised place in the northern part of the northern beaches. Picture: Dallas Kilponen

"At the next meeting of council I am going to move a notice of motion that the CEO be requested to investigate and report back to council the efficacy and costs of installing CCTV and alarms at all council owned assets and at identified hot spots have security guards appointed, like what has happened at East Esplanade, Manly," Cr De Luca said.

"If it costs $1 million in vandalism repairs, I think a cost analysis would need to be undertaken. It may be more cost efficient to have preventative measures, to have CCTV and security in hot spots, rather than to fix all the graffiti and vandalism as it happens."

The report, requested by Cr De Luca, only assessed vandalism and graffiti repair bill costs in Pittwater ($584,286) and Narrabeen ($407,029) wards. "This is only the cost for two wards and there's five of them," he said.

Cr De Luca's call comes during a continued police crack down on youth anti-social behaviour across the northern beaches which saw officers called to 140 incidents in just two days.

COST BURDEN: Vandalism has cost ratepayers almost $1 million during the past five years. Picture: Dallas Kilponen

COST BURDEN: Vandalism has cost ratepayers almost $1 million during the past five years. Picture: Dallas Kilponen

Counting the cost of vandalism

Estimated graffiti removal costs:

  • Narrabeen Ward $350,000
  • Pittwater Ward $515,000

Repair costs:

  • Narrabeen Ward $57,029
  • Pittwater Ward $69,286

The most frequently vandalised places in the Pittwater ward are: Avalon Surf Club and Kitchener Park public amenities.

The most frequently vandalised places in the Narrabeen ward are: St Matthews Farm Sport Amenities (Cromer) and Tramshed public amenities (Narrabeen).

Vandals' hit list:

  • Narrabeen Amateur Swimming Club - 39 vandalism attacks since 2019
  • North Narrabeen Reserve Sports Amenities North - 8 times since 2019
  • Elanora Heights Community Centre - 2 times

Find us on social

Follow the Northern Beaches Review on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor at: editor@northernbeachesreview.com.au

Want the latest news direct to your inbox?

Sign up for our free newsletters here...