This is what remains of graffiti said to be racist that appeared in Central Saanich’s Centennial Park. (Photo courtesy of James Younger)

Central Saanich Police looking into racist graffiti

Municipal staff have since painted over the graffiti in Centennial Park

Central Saanich Police are recommending that the public report cases of graffiti following reports of racist messages being left in Centennial Park last week.

“If anybody out there sees someone spraying graffiti or any suspicious circumstances, then we recommend that people phone it in immediately and we will dispatch,” said Sgt. Paul Brailey. He made that comment after police had received report of the graffiti.

Brailey said the file remains active, but the true nature of the graffiti remains unknown to police.

“We think it was a racist slur, but we have no evidence of it, because it was painted over, and it wasn’t photographed ahead of time,” he said. “They think it was the N-word, but we don’t know that for sure.”

RELATED: B.C. Premier John Horgan worried about ‘rise of racism’ in Canada

The Peninsula News Review became aware of the graffiti last week after receiving a call from local Central Saanich resident James Younger. Speaking to the PNR, Younger said he detests racism. Central Saanich park staff are said to have painted over the graffiti on Friday, the same day it was reported to the municipality.

Parts of the park remain closed, and the municipality, as well as police, have stepped up enforcement to remind the public of social distancing rules.

“We’ve got patrols going through, the bylaw [officers] are going through there constantly,” said Brailey, who praises the public’s response to social distancing rules.

“For the most part, we are finding that people are abiding to the recommendations of the province, and we are having very few issues with large gatherings,” he said.

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