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Campbell River looks to curb graffiti

The city is considering a new method to crack down on tagging.

After a summer full of vandalism complaints, a city commission is recommending council implement a city policy on tagging of city property and equipment.

Ross Milnthorp, the city’s general manger of parks, recreation, and culture, said the Community Services, Recreation and Culture Commission believes tougher rules may deter vandals.

“The commission agrees that a review of graffiti related bylaws and the establishment of a policy to deal with graffiti will lead to a reduction in graffiti and graffiti-related costs to both the private and public sector in Campbell River,” Milnthorp said in a report to council.

The commission is further recommending the policy include establishing a call line to report tagging.

The commission’s recommendations have been prompted by a string of vandalism that occurred throughout the summer.

Taggers targeted local businesses, schools, the public washrooms at Ken Forde Park, trail signs at both the Myrt Thompson Trail and Haig Brown Trail, as well as at the Sportsplex, Strathcona Gardens and Centennial Pool.

RCMP Insp. Lyle Gelinas told city council in September that Campbell River RCMP’s crime analyst has been cataloging the images to compare similarities in the tags to try and identify the culprits.

Through the work of the analyst, one offender with no known ties to Campbell River and who had been tagging in several communities on the Island, was identified as a suspect in multiple tagging locations in the city bearing large graffiti script.

Other young offenders over the summer were also identified and were required to clean up and pay for the damage they caused.

Under the city’s existing nuisance bylaw, which covers graffiti, businesses are also required to clean up tags and those that don’t can be fined $150.

The bylaw also imposes a $200 fine on offenders.

City council was expected to consider the commission’s recommendation to create a graffiti policy at Tuesday night’s council meeting after the Mirror went to press.

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