Western Australian Youth Justice advocates defended their decision today not to increase fines for criminal damage in light of an infamous graffiti artist becoming a millionaire at the age of 19 through reporting his own crimes.
‘Fining youths more than the current amount is probably unrealistic and will only cause a further administrative backlog for the Fines Enforcement Registry, who are currently overwhelmed trying to chase up fines for doing 3KM over the speed limit and fining people for forgetting to register their car, now there is no requirement to display a windscreen sticker.’ Stated Tristran Borlake - social worker turned spokesperson of the Minister for Youth.
Unlike famous UK street artist ‘Banksy’, who can sell his artwork for thousands of dollars, serial graffiti offender Mark Pye, an unemployed surfer from Butler, made his money through taking advantage of Perth’s peculiar legal loophole, where the fine for committing acts of graffiti is $200, yet the reward for reporting graffiti is $500.
Over a 5 year period Mr Pye reported his own graffiti three times a day and bagged himself over $1.1million.
A legal aid lawyer working on behalf of Mr Pye stated that his client no longer needed to spray paint trains, government buildings and bus shelters and considered himself ‘retired.’
My Borlake added ‘Our Youth Justice programmes are designed to stop young people continuing their anti-social behaviors. As Mr Pye no longer commits these offences it proves that the system does work.’