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Penticton  

Graffiti partnership considered

Penticton council has directed staff to support a partnership with the Downtown Penticton Association to investigate professional graffiti removal options.

The move came after a presentation by Kerri Milton with the DPA and Tina Siebert, the bylaw services supervisor, at Monday's meeting.

"It's a different idea and so far nothing has worked," says Councillor Helena Konanz. "I'm really sick of it, and I think trying something new is a good idea."

Included in the presentation was that successful approaches to graffiti include the 3 E's, education, enforcement and eradication.

The enforcement can be a challenge because files can take up to six months to investigate, are difficult to successfully prosecute and sentences range from small fines for adults or restorative justice for youth offenders.

Effective and thorough recording of tags and incidents does help with successful enforcement.

Education is considered a component to help business owners understand the importance of removal, while the best practices with eradication include 24 hour removal of graffiti to discourage additional graffiti and keep areas inviting to the public.

Milton, who says the problem is more of a tagging than graffiti issue, says she was very happy with the direction of council to bring in the professional removal service.

"It will take care of the problem, seven days a week, 365 days a year," she says. "We will be able to maintain it and stay on top of it."

The tagging had been an ongoing problem in the city, with different strategies used to combat it.

There has been a spate of it in 2014, with several businesses hit hard in recent months. On July 15, a hired graffiti artist painted the construction site at the Valley First Community Arts Centre, the former Penmar Theatre. That night, it was tagged.

"It's just time," says Milton. "This was just another example that we need to take care of the tagging issue."

 

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