Calgary launches task force to curb graffiti vandalism

The city is sending a message to graffiti vandals following the arrest of a man believed to be responsible for defacing a war memorial.

A warship at the Calgary Soldier’s Memorial in the 1100 block ofMemorial Drivewas spray painted sometime between Sunday, August 21st and Thursday, September 8th.

Police have arrested 18-year-old Neil Grinham and charged him with 23 of mischief in connection to the incident. Each charge could result in a $5,000 fine.

To curb graffiti crime, Calgary Transit, Animal and Bylaw Services, and Calgary Police are teaming up to form the Joint Graffiti Investigation Team. Police say while there aren’t a lot of graffiti vandals out there, the culprits are responsible for a tremendous amount of damage.

“When you follow a group of person, sometimes you will see charges now pending in the near future into the hundreds as they go out and they tag along transit, move off into the community, do 50 to 60 tags, come back on transit and tag and come home,” says Supt. Richard Hinse.

In 2009, Calgary Transit spent $3 million to clean up graffiti on trains, buses and in stations. Transit is looking for the public’s help in finding the most common offenders; they have released surveillance photographs hoping someone will be able to identify them. See the photographs here!

Anyone who witnesses graffiti vandalism taking place is asked to call 911. Vandals face fines between $1,000 and $5,000, along with a criminal record and possible jail time.

The Joint Graffiti Investigation Team has also launched GraffitiFreeCalgary.ca; the website provides information about graffiti vandalism, what to do if you experience vandalism in your community or think members of your family might be involved.

 

Global Calgary: Thursday, December 08, 2011 2:07 PM

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