The Graffiti Eradication & Prevention program is a police-based crime prevention program designed to reduce incidents of graffiti vandalism and the negative impact that this crime has on the community.
A leading motivating factor for graffiti vandals is notoriety, by removing graffiti as quickly as it appears vandals are unable to achieve recognition from their peers. If left unchallenged, however, graffiti encourages other crimes and encroaches on the safety and well-being of our community.
The Graffiti Eradication & Prevention program is based on a 3R's approach - Recognize, Report and Remove. Residents are asked to recognize that graffiti is a crime, to report graffiti to the Graffiti Hotline and to remove the vandalism immediately following its appearance.
What is Graffiti?
Graffiti is the wilful defacement of someone else's property by writing words or drawing with any marking substance. Graffiti can be placed on any surface including walls, fences, rocks, trees, mail and news boxes, sidewalks, roadways, windows and equipment covers.
Why should you care?
Graffiti is a crime and the incidence of this crime is increasing. It's not something unique though to the Central Okanagan. Graffiti invites other types of vandalism and crime, because it suggests the neighbourhood doesn't care or cannot cope. Graffiti also gives the impression that a neighbourhood isn't safe. This can drive people away from a perfectly safe area. Areas filled with graffiti are less appealing to those who may be looking to buy or rent property. Properties become more difficult to sell and values are reduced. Graffiti costs! Private property owners and public agencies spend thousands of dollars every year on graffiti removal. Every dollar spent to clean up preventable graffiti, is a dollar that could have been spent on other programs.
How can you prevent Graffiti?
There are several steps you can take to help prevent graffiti. It requires your involvement to proactively fight this crime.
If your property becomes the target of graffiti vandalism, remove the graffiti
within 24 hours after it appears. Rapid removal of the vandalism will prevent the offender from achieving recognition from other "taggers".
Ensure your property always looks occupied. Lock all doors and exterior gates and ensure there is good lighting around the property.
Install motion sensor lighting and ensure your property appears occupied at all times.
Start or participate in a Neighborhood Watch Program
Where possible, remove objects which can be used to access target areas such as roofs and eliminate target areas such as walls and fences by planting shrubs or brushes in front of them. Landscaping can help. Studies show that graffiti as well as litter is less common in landscaped areas.
Cover walls with anti-graffiti coatings.
Do not glorify graffiti by using graffiti images in advertising displays.
If you sell products that could be used for graffiti vandalism, be careful how you display the products.
What can you do about graffiti on your property?
Do not ignore graffiti. Clean it up as soon as possible. This will prevent offenders from receiving the recognition they desire from their tag.
Fast action improves the chances of a good clean up. You might also purchase environmentally friendly graffiti remover from paint stores. For assistance in removing graffiti, consult your local paint store or contact a professional graffiti removal contractor.
What can you do about graffiti on the property of others?
Alert neighbours if you spot graffiti on their property and encourage them to clean it up.
Report graffiti on private and public properties within the City of Kelowna only to the city by calling the Graffiti Hotline at 250-469-8600 (Option 7), or email a message to the graffiti hotline firstname.lastname@example.org.
When reporting graffiti, please leave detailed information on the graffiti location. If the graffiti is on private property, your report will be forwarded to the property owner. If the graffiti is on City-owned property, the City will attempt to have it removed within 24 hours.
How to Volunteer?
Whether vandals target public or private property, their crime affects the entire community. Do your part in helping to keep Kelowna beautiful by volunteering your time.
Sign up for the Adopt-A-Spot program. Individuals, organizations and/or businesses are invited to adopt a light standard, mailbox, utility transformer, or other "spot" and pledge to keep it graffiti free for a minimum of 6 months. As a member of the Adopt-A-Spot program, participants will receive a graffiti removal kit, complete with supplies that will assist participants as they take to the streets to wipe out graffiti! Contact the Kelowna Rural RCMP Detachment in West Kelowna at 250-768-2880.