Graffiti mischief, not a victimless crime

The Perth County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is currently investigating incidents of graffiti that have taken place in St.Marys over the past few weeks.

The incidents involved the application of large obscene symbols on St.Marys welcome signs on the East and West sides of town.

The public is reminded that Graffiti is any writing, symbols or drawing applied to any surface without the property owner’s consent.  Some acts of graffiti are obscene in nature while others make reference to hip-hop culture.  It can also be used by gangs or other extremists.

Graffiti is not a victimless crime since it negatively impacts a community’s beautification.  The Town of St.Marys has had to spend much money and resources to remove and repair the signs.  This removal diverts tax dollars from community programs and services. Although removal and repair costs are very expensive, it must be done.  If graffiti is left unchallenged it suggests that a community is apathetic about its appearance and this will lead to more graffiti being applied.

The public is reminded that graffiti willfully damages or destroys property.  It is therefore the Criminal Code offence of mischief, and those convicted of this offence can be punished with a prison sentence for up to 10 years.

The Perth County OPP will continue their Focused Patrols in relation to these senseless acts of graffiti that affect the entire community.  They are urging everyone in the community to report and deter these acts.  If graffiti or persons applying graffiti are observed report it to the police immediately.  If you know who is responsible, contact the Perth County OPP at 1-888-310-1122.  Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), and you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.

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