Graffiti is writing or drawings scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place. It is a criminal offence and its presence affects everyone who sees it. Graffiti creates an impression that a neighbourhood is uncared for and unsafe which in turn can invite more vandalism and crime. Graffiti is also personally damaging if it conveys hatred or discrimination.
- The key to controlling graffiti is rapid and consistent removal. The removal takes away notoriety gained by the graffiti vandal and sends a message that their activities will not be tolerated. In some cases, graffiti may need to be removed from the same spot a number of times in order to discourage the vandal. Studies have shown that graffiti tags left up almost always attract more graffiti and other crime to the area.
- Consider using graffiti resilient paints and products the next time you update the exterior of your home or business.
- Install video surveillance or motion sensor powered sprinklers or lights in vulnerable areas.
Some cities have adopted a graffiti bylaw that requires property owners remove hate graffiti and profane graffiti from their property within forty-eight hours. Other types of graffiti must be removed within fourteen days of notification by the City.
If a hydro box, telephone pole, mail box or city property in your neighbourhood has been the target of graffiti, please contact the appropriate agency for assistance. Many corporations will arrange to clean up their property once made aware of vandalism.
Although there are volunteer groups and citizens who take it upon themselves to clean up graffiti in the community, these volunteers alone can only reach a small portion of the City. The RCMP encourages citizens to work together with other residents and business partners to take the graffiti down in your neighbourhood as soon as it goes up.
Remember that graffiti vandalism is a crime that needs to be reported. If you witness graffiti vandalism in progress, call 9-1-1. Please report all other graffiti vandalism to your local police detachment or city bylaw enforcement officers.
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