Editorial: Graffiti is a Vancouver Island problem worth addressing

Vigilance needed so we aren’t overrun by this unwanted scrawling mess

Some people figure graffiti isn’t really a big deal.

But while it’s not as serious as violent crimes or break-ins or thefts, it is still a problem worth addressing.

We recently posted a story about Duncan once again being overrun by this unwanted scrawling mess. And the city of totems is hardly unique on the Island in facing this issue.

Don’t kid yourself that the graffiti we’re talking about is some kind of street art that deserves consideration for its aesthetic appeal or deep message. We’re talking tags, often incomprehensible and poorly spelled.

There’s no artistic vision here, no care taken. It’s just ugly, often black spray paint wherever the vandal thinks they can get away with putting it. It’s really just a blight on our cityscape.

Because that’s what graffiti like this does to our public spaces. It makes our community look run-down and crime-ridden. Nobody wants to look that gritty. We understand that there can be an even more sinister meaning behind it as well. It can be code for where people can buy drugs — which are an even more serious cancer in our communties.

Traditionally, they’ve even denoted gang territories.

And for the owners of the building rife with it, there’s an expense of both time and money to remove it. Sometimes that’s private owners, but sometimes that’s the taxpayers, too.

Whether it’s the cost to paint over it, or wash it off, it’s not a victimless crime.

Many Vancouver Island communities have bylaws in place governing what colours buildings are allowed to be, and how they are allowed to decorate and businesses allowed to advertise. The idea is to give our city a cohesive, old-town feel that will be appealing to visitors and residents.

To see these efforts subverted by vandals is sad and angering.

So while no, graffiti is not the worst problem facing our communities, it is something to be rooted out.

Report graffiti if it happens. If we don’t know about an issue, we can’t fix it.

Just Posted

Island man straddles the line between furniture and art

Local timber framer Chris Zumkeller makes foray into the world of fine art with wood creations

UVic researchers develop industry-changing ‘hyper-glue’

‘Cross-linking’ technology already playing a role in performance body armour

Big opportunity for Vancouver Island horse farm

Duncan equestrian business Valley View Farms selected for one of just four grants in North America

Saanich adds to green resurfacing fleet at Pearkes Arena

The device creates bubble-free ice without the need for heat, reducing emissions

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

Kingfisher Resort unveils spectacular winter light display

Visit Comox Valley resort’s lighted garden free of charge over the holiday season

Newest piece of public art arrives on Oak Bay Avenue

Contest opens to rename ‘Stickman’ driftwood sculpture

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read