Ottawa police issued a reminder Monday about possible mischief charges for damaging election signs after two youth were discovered tampering with signage in the west end that morning
Police said in a statement that they have seen numerous social media complaints about damage and graffiti to candidate signage in the first two weeks of the federal election campaign, but have only received one formal complaint about the issue.
“We want these incidents reported, particularly if they involve graffiti that is deemed to be hate-motivated,” said Staff Sgt. Jamie Aldrich, an officer from the OPS hate and bias crime unit.
A resident called police Monday morning when they saw two youth damaging signs in the city’s west end.
Officers found the youth and determined the incident was not motivated by hate. Both of the boys received verbal warnings, police said.
Scott Miller, the People’s Party of Canada candidate in Kanata-Carleton, posted on Twitter Monday to say his sign and Conservative signs in the area had been vandalized. His Liberal, NDP and Green Party rivals in the riding all denounced the destruction of his signs in responses to his tweet.
Liberal candidates Jenna Sudds in Kanata-Carleton and Chandra Arya in Nepean both posted on social media in the first week of the campaign to highlight that their signs had been damaged.
Interfering with election signs is an offence under both the Criminal Code of Canada and the Elections Canada Act, police said, adding such actions can lead to a mischief charge.
Anyone who sees a person tampering with an election sign is asked to call police at 613-236-1222.
Anonymous tips can be submitted via Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.