The city of Vancouver has seen a massive increase in graffiti vandalism since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and merchants say they pay the price, while brands are often not punished for their unsolicited criminal drafts.
Camera-loving vandalism captured on surveillance video in Vancouver
“It’s everywhere,” business owner Joe Chaput told Global News.
“It’s an ongoing battle to keep up.”
Inside les amis du FROMAGE, Chaput sells premium Camembert, Cambozola, Chevre, Cheddar and Charcuterie. Outside, he deals with a different kind of cheese.
“Suddenly you come back to work Monday morning, there are marks on your garage door at the front of the building,” he said.
“It is frustrating.”
The constant destruction keeps the city’s graffiti removal contractor busy.
Farewell Graffiti logged 149,837 genes for tagging genes during patrols in city-owned properties in 2020, an increase of 41 percent over the 106,383 incidents reported in 2019.
Among them were 1,231 reports of racist graffiti, an increase of 55 percent from 793 reports in 2019.
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Annoying graffiti reports to 311 for urban, private and third-party properties also increased by 70 percent — up from 3,421 calls in 2019 to 5,806 in 2020.
“We’ve seen a 100 percent increase in graffiti,” said Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Association CEO Neil Wyles.
Nothing seems sacred in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, where even the artist’s murals are felt.
The BIA said it spends up to $ 8,000 a month to paint over the crash – more than double that before the pandemic, while the tags have no consequences.
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“All costs and penalties fall on the property owners or business owners,” Wyles told Global News.
Chaput said he was fined $ 500 for marking trash cans.
Under Vancouver’s graffiti statute, property owners can be billed for removal costs if they do not get rid of the vandalism that lands on their grass.
If the owners are notified by the city, graffiti must be removed within 10 days. Any markings that remain after reporting can be cleared up on the property owner.
Camera-loving vandalism captured on surveillance video of Vancouver stores labeled graffiti
The minimum fine for anyone caught doing unauthorized graffiti is $ 500 for each offense.
“I would love to see someone get a fine for doing that, someone get caught,” Wyles said. “It just never happens.”
Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung said she understands the frustration, but urges business owners to always report graffiti so police can track down the most productive taggers.
“They are now scaling buildings and brands, you know, close to roofs or in three or four floors, and that can be very difficult to remove,” Kirby-Yung told Global News.
“There may be an opportunity for the city to provide support for some of the really hard-to-remove areas.”
In July, the city council approved $ 500,000 in graffiti grants to help 22 business improvement areas remove the growing vandalism.
Owners and renters can also request up to two free gallons of exterior paint from the city per year to clean up graffiti.
“When it just sits there for long periods, it just sends this message that there is no bourgeois pride,” Chaput said.
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