Friday, September 24, 2010

Is graffiti vandalism or art? Calgary grapples with issue

Council awaits report on how to prevent crime
A 19-year-old Calgary man, who police allege is a prolific tagger, is facing charges while city officials grapple with how to deal with graffiti.

Joanne Hahn, City of Calgary manager of policy and public education with animal and bylaw services, said the results of a graffiti prevention pilot project will be brought to council in November.

"Until then, we're not sure where we're going and it will be a new council," said Hahn.

According to the city's bylaw, graffiti is words, figures, letters, drawings or stickers applied, scribbled, scratched, etched, sprayed or attached to a surface.
No one is allowed to apply graffiti, and if done, they will be fined. Businesses and homeowners are also looking at fines if they don't clean up graffiti from their property, Hahn said.

"Graffiti makes people feel unsafe," she said. "The sooner it's removed, the better."

The vandalism is costing the city $3 million a year to clean city-owned properties, said Hahn.
Const . David Ladic, with the Calgary police graffiti vandalism unit, said half of the vandalism reports involve damaged city property. The rest is made up of commercial and residential buildings.

About 6,000 calls have come in this year, just under what was reported in 2009, he said.
Ladic said the police and city are collaborating on a better way to report tags. Instead of counting one piece at a time, they're looking at square footage. Ladic explained this will help record graffiti growth more accurately.

Next month the public has a chance to learn about graffiti prevention and enforcement at The Anti-Graffiti Symposium.

Ladic said the conference, Oct. 19 and 20, will feature some of the leading graffiti investigators from across Canada.
The event at the Coast Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre will look at best practices, and the subculture of the emerging art of street painting.

"We can't just keep dropping the hammer on them," said Ladic. "We're looking at mural programs and other programs."

Taken from: Calgary Herald

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1 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

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