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Graffiti plan sketched out

The Downtown Penticton Association (DPA) has been working for months to deal with a graffiti problem all over the city.

The recent outbreak in alleys and streets in the downtown core, just brings more attention to the need to do something about it.

"Stakeholders have been keeping an eye on it for several years," says DPA executive director Kerri Milton. "And there are additional concerns with the new graffiti that showed up."

Among the stakeholders playing a part are the association, landowners, business owners, the City of Penticton and RCMP. Milton said at a recent meeting, they even came up with a name for the effort, the  Graffiti Be Gone program.

The way the program works is affected landowners can buy the paint and contact the DPA who will then take care of the graffiti.

Graffiti can also be reported to the DPA and they will then forward information and pictures to both bylaw and the RCMP.

In the past the problem has been dealt with by volunteer clean up crews, as well as business owners painting over it on their own.

The Reimagine Art Festival, which encouraged artists to bring their works of art to life in backstreets and alleyways, was also held in recent years to promote street art, while reducing tagging and graffiti.

Milton said it is important to take an active role because keeping a clean downtown helps celebrate all the positive things that are going on such as Main Street Matters and the revitalization of Penticton's downtown.

She has no idea who is responsible for the graffiti.

"No one knows who is doing it," she said. "They haven't been caught."

The Penticton RCMP agrees it is an ongoing problem, but that lately there seems to be a surge and more complaints from the public.

Cpl. Martin Trudeau said they are planning to work more with local businesses to get some solutions and are also working in cooperation with their crime analyst, who is looking at trends and high risk locations.

"We are seeking the public's support as well," he said. "We can't be everywhere at all times."

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