Sackville RCMP investigating series of graffiti incidents

Katie Tower
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The Sackville RCMP is investigating a series of recent graffiti incidents in the downtown.

SACKVILLE, N.B. – Sackville RCMP are investigating a rash of vandalism in downtown Sackville over the past three weeks.

A series of graffiti incidents, mostly concentrated in the Lorne Street area, has RCMP amping up their surveillance measures and encouraging more people to come forward to report occurrences.

Sgt. Jamie Graves said nine incidents have been reported to RCMP since the first weekend in February. But in conducting further research with Codiac Regional graffiti investigator Cst. Chris Fader, Graves said it is clear that the graffiti activity is going underreported in Sackville, with nearly 10 times that number discovered during a recent walk-about.

Graves said although the number of incidents is certainly concerning, “we’re not pushing the panic button yet.” But police are trying to nip the problem in the bud before it becomes more serious. 

“We’re looking into it . . .we’re trying to get out ahead of it,” he said. “Left unchecked, the problem could get worse.”

RCMP do have a number of leads linking two suspects to a large percentage of the graffiti, mostly due to the nature of the markings – termed ‘hip-hop graffiti’ or ‘tagging.’

Cst. Fader said the tagging is a way for a graffiti artist to gain notoriety as it typically identifies who has done the work. He pointed out that the drawings are not gang related in any way so there’s not a need for concern over criminal activity associated with that.

He did note, however, that when graffiti is present, there is a need to identify the cause – usually related to youth-at-risk problems which can many times lead to further criminal behavior.

Although the incidents in Sackville don’t seem to be out of line with what is happening in other communities, Fader said “graffiti in any community needs to be addressed,” stressing that getting youth away from that subculture is important.

The graffiti has occurred on private property, including on the side and back (and doors) of a number of local businesses, buildings, tractor trailers and even the Sackville Legion.

“I’m referring to it as vandalism, not graffiti,” said Graves.

Fader said it’s important for the property owners to know that, although it may seem like police aren’t able to do much in these cases, “we can try and do something about it.” So he encourages them to come forward to report the graffiti so police can record any information they can – including taking photos, do neighbourhood inquiries and get information on when it may have happened.

“The quicker people can tell us, the better.”

Another measure Fader recommends is to have the graffiti removed as quickly as possible.

“The important thing is to get it down,” said Fader, adding that there’s less chance it will reoccur.

Anyone with information on these incidents are asked to contact RCMP at 533-5151 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.


Organizations: RCMP, Crimestoppers

Geographic location: SACKVILLE, Lorne Street

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