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Graffiti vandals may earn jail term

05/30/2009 11:15 PM

Dubai: Scribbling or spray painting on public buildings, walls and streets may land one in handcuffs, said a senior official from the general maintenance department, Dubai Municipality.

The civic body is also planning to tighten its grip on anyone involved in vandalising public property.

Dubai residents living in areas such as Al Rashidiya and Satwa said they often come across group of teenagers loitering around with spray paint cans during weekends. "I won't brand these teenagers as trouble makers because they quietly leave the area when confronted," said Elyas Mohammad Khan a resident who lives in one of the villas on Mankhool road.

"They also fear the police patrols around these area. For example last weekend I came across some teenagers sharing a cigarette and a couple of them were fiddling with the cans of spray paint. A while later they left the place with no harm done," said Khan.

Another resident living in Al Rashidiya said that graffiti on walls of private buildings are not repaired by the Dubai Municipality. "This happened last year when I was living in a villa. One morning we came across something bad being scribbled on the walls of the building. It was impossible to ignore the scribbling as it really read dirty. The landlord refused to get it cleaned so we contributed money and got the wall whitewashed," he said.

Juma Al Fuqaie, director of general maintenance department, Dubai Municipality, said that although graffiti on walls and public and private properties has considerably been brought under control due to joint efforts launched by the Dubai municipality and the Dubai police, the public should lodge complaints through the hotline number in case they come across people involved in distorting the landscape and the infrastructure.

Contact: Municipal hotline

Dubai Municipality has asked the public to report instances of vandalism on public buildings on the Hotline number 800900.

The complaints will be internally monitored and will be dealt with in coordination with Dubai Police.

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