10/2/06

Same Old Bullshit Story

From Metro - Feb.2/06

Businesses cracking down on graffiti
by Kenneth Jackson

A group of urban business associations have plans to make downtown graffiti a thing of the past.
Meg McCallum, president of the ByWard Market Business Association, said business owners are fed up with graffiti and her group has teamed with two other downtown associations to fight back.
With the added support of the Rideau and Vanier BIA's, McCallum has been drumming up ideas for a graffiti clean up and prevention program that she hopes can begin by May.
"We're still hammering out the details of how this is going to work," she said, noting that commercial building owners in urban areas have been battling a recent spike in graffiti vandalism.
One idea is to have building owners commit to removing graffiti within 24 hours of it appearing. McCallum said there's evidence that quickly removing graffiti 'tags' reduces the chances of a building being hit again in the future.
"By the second or third time they tend to get the message that there's no point of tagging, because it will be removed."
The associations are also considering hiring a private contractor to clean buildings when they are defaced.
They have received tips from Ottawa Police on how to deter would-be vandals.
Installing motion sensor lighting equipment and building gates and fences to block access to buildings are among the recommendations.
Ottawa Police Staff-Sgt. Paul Johnston said vandals must realize they are not engaging in "street art," but are committing a crime. They not only deface the building but the entire community around it, he said.

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