Coquitlam RCMP say dozens of volunteers turned out last Saturday to help fight a problem that costs Port Coquitlam and SD43 hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.
The problem is graffiti and local schools are particularly popular targets for tagging, according to Coquitlam RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jamie Chung. And once a wall or fence is tagged, the problem often snowballs.
"A single graffiti on the side of a building or a fence often attracts more vandalism and the congregation of taggers in the area," Chung said in a press release Thursday. "This leaves residents in the neighbourhood feeling unsafe. Graffiti could also attract other crimes, such as theft of spray paint."
Saturday's graffiti clean-up at PoCo's Birchland elementary attracted not only Mounties and community police volunteers but, also, the Youth TAG Team, members of the Meridian Village Residents' Association and youths from a local Muslim civic group.
Volunteers brought paint, brushes and rollers to paint over a graffiti-covered fence at the school.
The Saturday morning clean-up was followed later in the day by the Pop Culture, Positive Art event at Lions Park at which youths were encouraged to channel their spray-painting creativity in a positive way by painting on paper in a contest that will see the winner's design turned into a wrap for a local hydro box in the city.
Coquitlam RCMP would like to remind graffiti victims to report the crime to police and take down the file number. That number can then be given to any community police station to attain vouchers for free paint from General Paint stores to cover up the graffiti.