North Vancouver RCMP tag graffiti vandals
North Vancouver RCMP have arrested two youths aged 12 and 13 for spraypainting more than 150 graffiti "tags" on dozens of buildings Sunday night.
The two boys were arrested after they "tagged" businesses and residences on Lonsdale Avenue between 25th Street and Esplanade overnight last night. The pair snuck out of their houses while their parents were unaware and spraypainted the front and rear of businesses all along Lonsdale Avenue. At around 3 a.m., and observant patrol officer spotted the boys and arrested them at the corner of Lonsdale Avenue and West 8th Street. They were released into the custody of their rather exasperated parents.
North Vancouver RCMP's Community Policing volunteers will be visiting the affected locations today to gather contact information for the people affected. To report damages, affected businesses can also call the North Vancouver Detachment at (604) 985-1311 and quote file number 2011-13065.
In part because of the age of the youths, Police will be referring the incident to the Restorative Justice program run out of the North Vancouver Detachment and administered by the North Shore Restorative Justice Society (NSRJ). NSRJ is a non-profit organization that advocates for and supports restorative responses to crime and conflict. Since 1997, the Society has operated the Restorative Response Program, a community-based initiative that provides an effective alternative to the court system. The program responds to situations of crime and conflict committed by youth and adults by facilitating mediation, conferencing, peacemaking circles and shuttle mediation based on the principles of restorative justice.
Once a matter is referred to NSRJ, they will contact all parties affected by the incident and meet with them individually to find out what happened, who is taking responsibility for what, how people have been affected, and what might need to happen next. Based on these exploratory meetings, they work to design a restorative response that might include a face-to-face encounter (like a mediation, conference or circle) or explore how else the harm might be addressed in a meaningful way.
North Vancouver RCMP fights graffiti on a regular basis, not only through targeted patrols by uniformed officers, but also through enforcement projects, prevention programs, and cleanup initiatives undertaken by officer and volunteers with the Detachment's Community Policing section. Graffiti clean-up costs the District of North Vancouver approximately $100,000 per year; the cost for the City of North Vancouver is unavailable at this time.
The North Shore Integrated Graffiti Task Force (NSIGTF), which is coordinated by the North Vancouver RCMP's anti-graffiti program, will also be conducting a general graffiti clean-up day in Deep Cove in partnership with the District of North Vancouver. The event, which was recently rescheduled due to weather, will be conducted in the coming weeks.
Submitted by Cpl. Peter DeVries, North Vancouver RCMP detachment.