Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Citizens say 'no' to graffiti in their community

The City of Calgary is encouraging citizens to say ‘no’ to graffiti in their communities.

In the past month, about 100 Calgarians have had graffiti removed from their property with The City’s new private property graffiti removal pilot program, which aims to make graffiti removal timelier and easier.

“When citizens contact 3-1-1 to have graffiti removed, they are sending a clear message that graffiti is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in their neighbourhood,” says Bill Bruce, the Director of Animal & Bylaw Services.

Calgarians who report new or existing graffiti on their property can pay a flat $25 residential property or $100 commercial property fee per visit, regardless of the amount or size of the graffiti. Program participants also sign a waiver granting a City contractor permission to enter their property and remove the graffiti. All revenue is reinvested into the graffiti removal initiative.

Statistics indicate that the presence of graffiti can lead to more serious crimes and is the first step in the decline of the liveability and safety of neighbourhoods. If graffiti is not removed quickly, it gives the perception that residents don’t care about their community. This can result in the spread of graffiti and other criminal activity throughout the community.

The Community Standards Bylaw defines graffiti as any words, figures, letters, drawings or stickers attached, scribbled, scratched, etched, or sprayed on or to a surface.

The pilot program is expected to run until the end of 2009.

The City of Calgary Animal & Bylaw Services encourages Calgarians to enhance community pride by utilizing this initiative.

Citizens are also reminded that graffiti is a crime and if they see graffiti in progress to call 9-1-1.

For more information please visit calgary.ca/bylaws or call 3-1-1.

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