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Volume 931: debated on Saturday 5 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the existing penalties for those convicted of writing graffiti on walls and fences; and whether, as an alternative to fines, he will consider making such offenders clean off the offending words under police or court supervision.

The Criminal Law Bill, which received its Second Reading this week, increases to£500 the maximum fine which may be imposed on conviction of an offence of criminal damage where the value of the damage done is less than£200. Offences of writing on walls or fences would be likely to fall into this category. The maximum summary fine for other offences of criminal damage is increased to£1,000 in the Bill. I am satisfied that the penalties are otherwise adequate. Under a community service order, which is also available to the courts for this kind of offence, offenders may be involved in tasks aimed at rehabilitating their environment. I would not want to introduce a more specific requirement.