Graffiti can be found anywhere and everywhere around town. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Graffiti grief grips Duncan

Number of complaints has already passed total for all of last year

A decade ago, the Duncan community dealt with a spate of graffiti and, for a time, successfully seemed to have control over the issue.

Volunteer groups organized paint-overs, committees were formed to confer with local governments and a group dubbed “TAG” (Together Against Graffiti) was formed. Bylaws were tightened up and police worked with members of the community to record and track the vandalism, according to Carol-Ann Rolls, manager of Cowichan Community Policing and Crime Prevention. It worked pretty well but fell short on the judicial side. Still, the result appeared to be fewer instances of graffiti.

These days it’s hard to look anywhere in the more public areas without seeing unauthorized ink.

Graffiti is back and arguably worse than ever.

SEE RELATED: Tag, and you’re in for it: Mounties investigating thousands in graffiti damage in Duncan

SEE RELATED: Will Arnold spearheads drive to clean up Duncan neighbourhood

According to Const. Amron Christensen, in all of 2018 there were just 24 graffiti-related mischief calls reported to police. In the first seven months of 2019, there’ve already been 23 complaints.

“It would be safe to say that incidents of graffiti being reported to police have almost doubled in 2019, compared to 2018,” Christensen said. “It’s important to note that these statistics may be in some ways inaccurate in terms of actual amounts of graffiti around the community. Often times graffiti goes unreported to police. In a single police report there could be thousands of dollars in graffiti reported but only reflected in a single police report.”

In short, the police are saying it’s likely even worse than their statistics are showing.

“Graffiti is a crime that affects all members of the community,” Rolls said.

From property owners having to pay for removal, to the loss of business due to the negative image graffiti leaves, from the decline of community spirit as residents begin to wonder about the state of their town to the tax dollars spent on graffiti removal on public buildings and monuments, it effects everyone in one way or another.

As a community issue, everyone needs to help with the solution, police note.

“One thing we can say for sure is that in 2019 the community is reporting incidents of graffiti to police at about double the rate of 2018,” Christensen said. “We want to encourage the community to keep reporting crime and suspicious activity to the RCMP.”

 

Graffiti can be found anywhere and everywhere around town. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Just Posted

Four generations of Vancouver Island logging and mining stories in one show

Nanaimo’s John Gogo will share regional stories, family history and song in his latest project

Cineplex to show free holiday movies to support Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Community Day will be on Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m at select theatres

Man discovers hidden corners of the city while cycling every street in Victoria

Cyclist maps progress while taking on 2019 goal to cover every street with road sign

Victoria owl tangled in net for two days faces long road to recovery

Barred owl rescued by Victoria Animal Control, taken to Wild ARC

Nearly 80 incredible artists, one extraordinary Vancouver Island tree

Bateman gallery’s OneTree 2019 honours the life of a single, tree salvaged from the Chemainus Valley

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

Ski resorts selling mountain water is a risky move, critics say

Alberta allowed ski resort in Kananaskis Country to sell about 50 million litres to third party

Most Read