Wednesday, July 21, 2010

TAGS anti-graffiti conference coming to Calgary

Canada’s premier anti-graffiti conference is coming to Calgary this fall.

The Anti Graffiti Symposium or TAGS, is an annual conference open to individuals working for municipalities, law-enforcement agencies, departments of justice, schools, community groups, businesses and other agencies affected by graffiti vandalism.

The purpose for attendees is to share and gain knowledge in the area of graffiti-vandalism prevention, enforcement, investigations and charging.

“We’d like people to understand this subculture which can lead to the successful completion of a graffiti charge,” says Dave Ladic, the graffiti coordinator with the Calgary Police Service.

Graffiti, says Ladic, is much more harmful than just a few splashes of paint on the side of a wall, it can perpetuate other crimes.

“This isn’t just a person painting a symbol – it has a social and economic cost,” says Ladic. “We have to send a message that our communities are being cared for.”

TAGS website states “as intelligence is gathered from various groups in their respective locations, it is important to communicate and strategize with like-minded groups in order to work together to address this ongoing issue.”

In Calgary, graffiti continues to be of a high cost to taxpayers in terms of property damage and cleanup, investigations, and in some cases, negative emotional and psychological affects. In act, this year, the Calgary Police Service laid its first hate crime charge in relation to graffiti-vandalism.

It is anticipated that through the knowledge shared at this conference, ours and other municipalities will be better equipped to deal with this issue.

TAGS 2010 is a two-day conference from Tuesday, Oct. 19 to Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010, at the Coast Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre, 1316 33 St. N.E. Calgary, Alberta.

The Calgary Police Service and The City's Animal and Bylaw Services are encouraging people to register soon to get a special early-bird rate.

Here is a related blog post: Citizens say 'no' to graffiti in their community

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