youth

What's wrong with it?

Not everyone likes to have someone else's artwork on their property. It is their right to decide what goes on it. People work hard to acquire and maintain their own property; whether that is their business, their home or their city. Think of your most prized possession; something that means the most to you; something you worked very hard for. Picture someone has now written all over it.

Is graffiti art or vandalism?

Some believe that graffiti is a style of self expression. When executed on legal surfaces and where permission is granted it's not considered an offence. However, when it is done on someone else's property without their permission is becomes vandalism. Vandalism is a criminal offence.

Myth Vs. Fact

Myth:

There are no negative consequences to participating in graffiti vandalism.

Fact:

There are not only legal ramifications to participating in graffiti vandalism there are also serious health risks associated with it. The use of spray paint and markers can have serious health effects as they are an inhalant. Short term effects include headaches, nausea, respirator problems. Long term effects may include memory loss, respirator conditions, and kidney conditions. Permanent injuries often occur from the dangerous locations chosen for graffiti. Offenders have lost the use of limbs, eyesight and have even died as a result of falling from precariously high positions or dodging various equipment.

Myth:

The police never catch anyone doing graffiti vandalism.

Fact:

There has been a sharp increase in the number of arrests and charges laid in cases of graffiti vandalism in the past five years. Presently all business units within the City of Calgary including Animal & Bylaw Services, Calgary Transit and Calgary Police Service amongst others are actively investigating graffiti vandalism incidents across Calgary.

 

Myth:

If I get caught all I have to do is pay a fine.

Fact:

Graffiti vandalism is a crime, offenders are subject to the investigative techniques presented in the criminal code, include the execution of search warrants on residences, vehicles, or other property. This property includes cell phones, computers, cameras, or other digital devices. This property may be held until the completion of the court proceedings which could be in excess of two years. If found guilty of graffiti vandalism offenders can be sentenced to supervised conditions like curfews, not to associate with other offenders, community service hours, restitution, fines or even IMPRISONMENT. As an offender you never know when the consequences are going to catch up with you.

Myth:

It's not that much damage.

Fact:

If a judge orders an offender to pay restitution, an offender can be charged for the clean up of every piece of associated graffiti vandalism. These clean up costs can start at $100 per piece of graffiti, and can range into the thousands of dollars depending on the size and surface of the vandalism.

Myth:

When I turn 18 it's no longer on my record.

Fact:

The offences can no longer be used against you in further criminal proceedings but it's still on file and still shows that you have a youth record.