Calgary mischief-makers apparently ignored a new campaign designed to curb bus shelter vandalism after 35 of the glass shelters were smashed over the weekend.
The crime spree began Friday, just a week after Calgary Transit announced plans to step up surveillance in problem spots and install posters at bus shelters informing witnesses of vandalism how to report it.
A smashed shelter in southwest Calgary was emblazoned with one of these posters, which depict a young man in a hood winding up a baseball bat to destroy the glass structure.
Above the image, the poster warns, “Vandalism is a crime. Call 911 if you see someone damaging a shelter.”
The irony of the busted up shelter was not lost on Brian Whitelaw, Calgary Transit’s superintendent of public safety and enforcement.
“That’s not something that we would have foreseen,” Whitelaw said.
Cleaning up after the vandals will be expensive. It costs nearly $1,000 to replace three glass panels in a shelter, suggesting Calgary Transit will shell out tens of thousands to fix all the weekend wreckage.
Whitelaw said tempered glass, while pricey, has traditionally been the safest material for bus shelters because it falls straight down when broken. But he said officials are in talks with vendors who sell different types of glass.
Transit officials have been dealing with a troublesome spate of bus shelter vandalism, with 640 cases in 2014 and 109 in the first three months of 2015.
According to Whitelaw, vandals between 15 and 25 years of age are responsible for most bus shelter damage, and that shelters closest to schools are hit most often.
Police hope tips from the public will help them crack down on the latest rash of vandalism.
By: Reid Southwick, Calgary Herald
Published on: May 4, 2015