Halifax police enlist public help in stopping graffiti vandalism
Churches, graveyards, schools and monuments. All public places that have been defaced with offensive graffiti over the last few months.
Halifax Regional Police say they have seen an increase in graffiti vandalism, especially since August.
On Friday they sent out this series of tweets, asking the public for assistance.
Help police stop graffiti vandalism. Most recent incidents occurred in Bedford, Clayton Park, Halifax & Sackville. See attached photos & help us identify the person or persons responsible. Please RT. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/WGYx7cr4Pw— Halifax_Police (@HfxRegPolice) October 12, 2018
“Graffiti is a visual crime,” said Const. Amy Edwards of the Halifax Regional Police. “People are affected by this, and they are disturbed, they are upset, and I think it's really important for us to find out who is responsible for this and put an end to it.”
This past weekend, the Halifax Memorial at Point Pleasant Park became the latest public place to be hit by vandals.
Many of the instances feature similar images, including anarchy symbols, and profane -- and consistently misspelled -- language.
“Some of the images are similar in nature,” said Edwards. “I guess you could say they are related in that way, but to say that it's one person responsible for these, we can't say that right now. We don't have anybody in custody, we don't know who is responsible.”
Adam DeCosta is a street artist and affiliate of Blackbook Collective, a Halifax art supply store and studio that works with local groups and schools to teach kids how to spray paint.
“Graffiti is graffiti, but there's definitely different forms that it comes in, and that was purely destructive,” DeCosta said. “But we're trying to promote good things, different forms of creativity, and separate ourselves from that kind of stuff.”
DeCosta believes street art can be a powerful form of expression, and while he in no way promotes this recent vandalism, it shows a need for public spaces where graffiti is legal.
“Having places like 'the pit' was a great outlet for us to go down there, meet the people who were involved and get that sense of community going, and that really helped us hone our skills and motivated us to do something more than just a scribble here, scribble there kind of thing,” DeCosta said.
“I think when you stifle this type of energy, it turns out worse than if you give people the skills and ability to express themselves,” he said. “If they grew up with the impression that they could be graffiti artists, they might not be doing this stuff.”
As police appeal for help from the public, costly cleanups and concern grow.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Allan April.