The grainy image from the surveillance camera shows what appears to be a teenaged boy standing in the Sportsplex Skatepark at night.
Campbell River RCMP believe he’s just one of the city’s many taggers who spray paint buildings, signs, bus stops and other public places.
“Graffiti costs businesses and taxpayers a lot of money and erodes the beauty of our community,” said Cpl. Poppy Hallam in a news release. “It’s our community and we need to work together to stop this senseless crime.”
The term “tagging” is more appropriate than “graffiti” which is often the work of someone with actual artistic talent. Tagging usually involves spray painting a signature or a scrawl of sloppy letters.
On June 26 and again on June 23, police responded to complaints of taggers at Sportsplex, located at Willow Point Park. They’ve released surveillance images of the young suspect in the hope someone can help identify him.
The images are available at the Crime Stoppers website, campbellriver.crimestoppersweb.com, under “Crime of the Week.”
Along with the Skatepark, Mounties have investigated recent tagging of highway signs, hydro boxes, benches, bus stops, public parks and buildings throughout the city.
“The City of Campbell River and local businesses have been diligent in promptly removing the graffiti,” said Hallam. “However, it often reappears, which is very frustrating to business owners as this is a costly and irritating crime.”
Graffiti and tagging is considered Mischief under the Criminal Code of Canada and carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail or fines.
“Campbell River RCMP have charged some offenders, but that has not been a deterrent for some culprits as the same style graffiti is reappearing and there is information that at least one of the recently charged offenders is out tagging again,” Hallam added.
The city has a public nuisance bylaw which covers graffiti, with a fine of $200 for offenders and $150 for businesses that don’t remove tags.
As well, the Mounties maintain a comprehensive database of photographs of tags from both known and unidentified offenders. Offenders have a signature style so once an offender is identified, police can check the database and link the offender’s tags to other locations and this can result in multiple charges.
Anyone with information can call RCMP or Crime Stoppers.