May 8, 2014 2:31 pm

Edmonton experiences recent increase in graffiti

A 2013 audit on graffiti vandalism in Edmonton shows mixed results, Thursday, May 8, 2014.

Mike Simpson, Global News

EDMONTON – A new audit from the City of Edmonton shows a recent spike in graffiti vandalism.

The 2013 Graffiti Vandalism Audit recorded a 27 per cent increase in graffiti in the same 20 neighbourhoods audited the previous year.

The city says the majority of the graffiti “tags” happened in the Downtown and Strathcona neighbourhoods.

“What we’re going to need to do is to focus our programming and supports on those neighbourhoods,” said Sharon Chapman, Community Relations Senior Program Planner.

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The Downtown, Strathcona and Garneau neighbourhoods rank as the top three most vandalized neighbourhoods in the city, accounting for nearly half of all tags, up from 30 per cent in 2012.

Despite the recent increase in graffiti vandalism, the city says there has been an overall improvement, with the number of “tags” dropping by 29 per cent from the first audit in 2010 to 2013.

The number of locations where graffiti vandalism has also dropped by 10 per cent.

“The auditors that conducted the report concluded that the on-going bylaw enforcement that the city’s Graffiti Vandalism program are an effective approach in identifying and reducing graffiti vandalism in Edmonton,” said Chapman.

The 2013 audit identified 424 taggers who were responsible for the majority of all graffiti vandalism, with ten taggers allegedly responsible for 20 per cent of all the tags.

“This information is very important because we do share this information with the Edmonton Police Service and it assists them in tracking where taggers are operating in the City of Edmonton,” explained Chapman.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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