Graffiti vandalism nets tagger $1,000 in fines
It’s being considered another victory in the city’s fight against the graffiti scourge in town.
A justice of the peace essentially threw the book at a man who was caught defacing property at the Lansdowne transit exchange in downtown Kamloops.
The tagger was convicted in bylaw court on Sept. 30 of two counts of graffiti vandalism and was fined $500 for each count.
He is also prohibited from possessing graffiti-making tools, such as paints and markers, for six months and must submit to a search of his personal belongings on demand by RCMP.
“I think this speaks to a pattern for us, from the point of view this type of vandalism is serious,” said Len Hrycan, the city’s director of corporate community affairs.
“It impacts our community and, wherever we possibly can, we will take strong action to lay charges.”
Though it’s not the first time a tagger has been forced to pay a fine for his actions, just how the man was brought to justice is rare.
A resident witnessed the vandalism and was prepared to testify in court.
Hrycan noted the witness’s co-operation helped the city move forward with charges.
The city doesn’t intend to seek damages from the incident in civil court.
A court decision earlier this year authorized a civil settlement between a teen and his parents and the City of Langford, after a tagger caused $30,000 worth of damage in the Victoria suburb in 2008.
The City of Kamloops has considered following in the footsteps of the Vancouver Island municipality, but Hrycan said the amount of damage caused by the recent vandalism was less than the fine.
As a result of a previous conviction, the man was already banned from the transit exchange for six months.
Hrycan said the city asked the ban be extended for six more months, but the request was denied.
The proliferation of graffiti in Kamloops has become a problem in recent years, as the city’s graffiti task force is cleaning up between 10,000 to 15,000 square feet of city and private property each month in 2011.