Spring brings out graffiti

With the warmer weather comes an increase in graffiti.

With the warmer weather comes an increase in graffiti.

The Red Deer Downtown Business Association is preparing for the onset of street art with cleanup kits for those affected.

The association is handing out packages that help people clean up, in an effort to minimize the damage, executive director Amanda Gould said.

There is a limited supply of graffiti removal kits, but they are provided free to downtown businesses.

The key to dealing with graffiti is to remove it in a timely manner.

“If you remove graffiti within 24 hours, there is a very slim chance it will be re-tagged or re-graffitied,” said Gould. “The longer you leave it, the more chance there is of it being re-graffitied when you do eventually remove it.”

The association is bosting its clean team heading into May. The clean team actively deals with graffiti.

Gould said they haven’t heard from any businesses with problems yet.

Working closely with the crime prevention centre on the issue, the association went out with the youth and volunteer centre a few weeks ago and did a complete graffiti removal downtown.

“We got rid of as much of it as we could in the time we had,” said Gould. “The downtown should be looking pretty clear right about now, but we’re trying to keep on top of it because when the summer comes, they get more creative.”

The cleanup kits have a variety of items to remove spray paint from surfaces that have been hit.

“Within the kit you get the spray-on liquid, the wipes, a couple of brushes, a bucket and gloves,” said Gould.

Terry Lee Ropchan, the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre executive director, is in Phoenix attending the Zero Graffiti International conference, which focuses on tips, tools and methods to mitigate or fight graffiti.

Anyone convicted for graffiti-related offences, under the city’s community standards bylaw, faces a fine of $2,500.

Anyone who sees graffiti being committed or has information that may assist police is asked to contact Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575, through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, online at www.tipsubmit.com, or to the City of Red Deer graffiti hotline at 403-356-8908.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

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