Editorial: Graffiti is a problem worth addressing in Duncan

The City of Duncan has once again been overrun by this unwanted scrawling mess.

Some people figure graffiti isn’t really a big deal.

But while it’s not as serious as violent crimes or break-ins or thefts, it is still a problem worth solving in our community.

The City of Duncan has once again been overrun by this unwanted scrawling mess. Graffiti, specifically tagging, and that’s what it is, don’t kid yourself that the graffiti we’re talking about is some kind of street art that deserves consideration for its aesthetic appeal or deep message. We’re talking tags, often incomprehensible and poorly spelled. There’s no artistic vision here, no care taken. It’s just ugly, often black spray paint wherever the vandal thinks they can get away with putting it. It’s really just a blight on our cityscape.

Because that’s what graffiti like this does to our public spaces.

It makes our community look run-down and crime-ridden. Nobody wants to look that gritty.

We understand that there can be an even more sinister meaning behind it as well. It can be code for where people can buy drugs — which are an even more serious cancer in our city. Traditionally, they’ve even denoted gang territories.

And for the owners of the building rife with it, there’s an expense of both time and money to remove it. Sometimes that’s private owners, but sometimes that’s the taxpayers, too. A recent article in the Citizen by Sarah Simpson included a photograph of some graffiti sullying our beautiful and historic City Hall. Whether it’s the cost to paint over it, or wash it off, it’s not a victimless crime.

The City of Duncan has bylaws that state colours buildings are allowed to be, and how they are allowed to decorate and businesses allowed to advertise. The idea is to give our city a cohesive, old-town feel that will be appealing to visitors and residents.

To see these efforts subverted by criminals is sad and angering. So while no, graffiti is not the worst problem facing our city, it is something to be rooted out.

Report graffiti if it happens.

If we don’t know about an issue, we can’t fix it.

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