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Okotoks staff dealing with more than 200 graffiti tags a week

Town said it has seen another 'unfortunate escalation' of graffiti throughout Okotoks, specifically at the skateboard park by the recreation centre.
NEWS-Graffiti BWC 0666 web
Graffiti covers the side of a foot bridge in Cimarron Park on June 9.

If you see it, report it. 

That's what the Town of Okotoks is asking when it comes to graffiti, saying that vandalism continues to be an issue in town months after a public service announcement was issued. 

In a new release sent out Thursday, the Town said it has seen another "unfortunate escalation" of graffiti throughout Okotoks, specifically at the skateboard park by the recreation centre. 

“So far in June, parks staff are cleaning more than 200 tags a week found on garbage receptacles, bridges, pathways and surfaces, picnic shelters, benches and toilet buildings,” said parks manager Christa Michailuck in a statement.

According to the Town, graffiti is the most visible and prominent crime in a neighbourhood and makes it appear it unsafe. 

Any figures, stickers, letters or drawings that are applied, scribbled, scratched, etched, sprayed or attached to the surface of any premises, structure or other property is considered graffiti vandalism and is a violation of the community standards bylaw. 

Vandalism convictions carry a fine of up to $2,500 per incident for adults and $1,000 per incident for youth. Offences including multiple tags can result in multiple charges. Vandals don't need to be caught in the act to face charges. 

All citizens are encouraged to call Okotoks Municipal Enforcement at 403-938-8913 to report graffiti spotted on public and private property. If suspicious activity or graffiti vandalism is in progress, call 911 and do not engage with the offenders.

When private property is victimized by graffiti vandalism, cleaning up the graffiti as soon as possible is the best way to prevent it from reoccuring in the area. The incident should be recorded for both evidence and insurance purposes by taking photos of the vandalized area and noting the date and time of occurrence.

To learn more about reporting and removing graffiti, visit okotoks.ca/report-graffiti.