Police state – using censorship laws to stop grafitti


According to AAP –

Graffiti material seized in Sydney raids

Police have seized 150 unclassified videos and DVDs along with almost 300 magazines showing acts of graffiti, in raids across Sydney.

The raids, on a paint supplies store in Newtown and a record store in central Sydney yesterday afternoon and evening, uncovered the material, which showed people committing acts of graffiti.

Chief Superintendent John Hartley said the swoop was part of an ongoing operation targeting graffiti and vandalism on CityRail trains.

“NSW police is working in conjunction with Rail Corp to reduce the incidents of graffiti upon the rail network,” Chief Supt Hartley.

“The cost of graffiti runs into the millions of dollars and also contributes to considerable delays to the public transport system.”

The state opposition last month slammed the government’s rail security program following a 300 per cent jump in graffiti last year.

Graffiti attacks jumped from 8077 in November 2004 to 35,627 in November 2005.


(source Sydney Morning Herald)

I’ve found out from Blaze that these raids might have been in response to a Channel Ten news story on grafitti in Sydney last week.

It is the use of classification/censorship laws to try to stop grafitti that worries me. Especially as according to the Office Of Film & Literature Classification publications to do not require a classification unless they contain violence, sex, some forms of nudity, or drug use.

Under the national classification scheme, only a “submittable’ publication requires classification. A “submittable’ publication is one that is likely to be restricted to adults because it:

– contains depictions or descriptions likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult,
– is unsuitable for a minor to see or read, or
– is likely to be refused classification.

A “submittable publication’, whether local or imported, must be classified before it can be displayed for sale.

OFLC guidelines – here and here.


About Author

Seb Chan founded Cyclic Defrost Magazine in 1998 with Dale Harrison. He handed over the reins at the end of 2010 but still contributes the occasional article and review.