The City of St. John's says it’s investigating ways of recovering some of the money it has to spend to get rid of graffiti. City hall spent nearly $34,000 in 2013 on cleaning graffiti, almost twice as much as what it spent in 2010.

At Monday evening's regular meeting, council approved a directive to have city lawyers pursue victim impact statements for prosecutions, so that the city would be able to obtain more money during court prosecutions.

Coun. Tom Hann said the new approach could help the city lower its out-of-pocket costs.

"Normally that doesn't go through the courts," Hann told other councillors.

'Clean areas' sought for graffiti artists

"We've asked our legal department to take a look at it and see that if anybody is charged and brought to court that we at least have the opportunity to advise the court of the cost of repairs and so on, and that could result in probably recovery of repair costs," Hann said.

Hann said council is also looking at "clean areas where real graffiti artists can practise their work and their art."

The funds that council allots for graffiti cleanup are for outside contractors and materials, and do not include the work done by city staff.