The Downtown Victoria Business Association’s clean team has to remove an average of 1,000 graffiti markings per month (File contributed/DVBA)

Graffiti clean up costs Victoria businesses roughly $1M a year

Business association teams up with city in campaign to reduce graffiti in downtown

The Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) is teaming up with the City of Victoria and the Victoria Police Department in a campaign aimed at reducing graffiti in the city’s core.

Every month the DVBA’s clean up crew removes an average of 1,000 graffiti tags from city streets and buildings, costing business owners an average of $1 million per year.

“Graffiti vandalism is a concern for cities around the world and a growing challenge both in downtown Victoria and beyond,” the DVBA said in an online statement. “It harms residents, organizations, businesses, and property owners.”

ALSO READ: Graffiti on Lochside sends pointed message to cyclists

This prompted the DVBA to help develop a three-step process to help stop graffiti, beginning with reporting the incident to police.

If the vandalism is in process, property and business owners are encouraged to call 911. If the paint is on private property it should be put in a police report, while if it’s on public property it can be reported to the City using the ConnectVictoria app, available on iTunes and Google Play.

Next the DVBA recommends recording the tag by taking a picture of the whole piece and making note of any smaller signatures, initials or markings which are often around the edges of the graffiti. This information should be forwarded to the police.

ALSO READ: West Shore RCMP arrest 26-year-old man for spray-painting graffiti in Langford

Lastly, the graffiti needs to be removed to discourage other taggers from also pursuing the area. On a private property it is the owner’s responsibility to remove the paint. If the building is a heritage building it is advised to hire processional graffiti removers. The DVBA Clean Team can also remove any graffiti, and will paint over the surface if paint is provided. The City of Victoria can be contacted to remove graffiti from public property.

There are also preventative measures that can be taken to avoid graffiti from happening in the first place. These include the installation of security cameras and lighting as well as securing access to alleys and rooftops. Building owners can also apply protective coating on walls, which would ease graffiti removal, or consider installing a mural of their own onto walls.

For more information, and for a full list of graffiti removal contacts you can visit downtownvictoria.ca/about/graffiti.

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