The District of Houston has been seeing a rise in spray painting vandalism with miscreants recently attacking the local amphitheatre, the Jamie Baxter Park and a house.
”There has been an increase in the past few weeks with spray painting in the area. The most recent event in Jamie Baxter Park is a more high profile area. The Amphitheatre and Jamie Baxter Park are gathering places in the community and it is unfortunate that individuals would choose to vandalize this building,” said Staff Sergeant Mark Smaill.
Smaill also said that while these types of events seem to go in waves in terms of how often they occur, he wouldn’t say that there is more vandalism this year than last.
Last year the Steelhead Park in Houston had seen several acts of vandalism, with miscreants uprooting plants, destroying the lawn and stealing perennials. This year the district is seeing spray paint vandalism at the Jamie Baxter Park, at the amphitheatre and at an old house on Butler Street.
“The detachment and the District of Houston have had discussions in the past week regarding some steps that may be taken to detect and prevent crime in the area,” said Smaill. These steps will include working with the Crime Prevention Through Environment Design (CEPTED) approach in which several strategies to reduce crime, fear of crime and building a sense of ownership amongst residents for their town would be implemented. An increase in patrol and enforcement action from general duty officers would also be done by the detachment.
“The detachment has already stepped up foot patrols in the area and are taking an enforcement approach to Liquor Control and Licensing Act (LCLA) and CCLA offences that are observed,” said Smaill.
Smaill also said that charges for individuals destroying or damaging property would include Mischief (Section 430 Criminal Code). However, there are often alternative measures that are utilized during these types of situations and police often look to Restorative Justice type scenarios.
“Restorative Justice has been utilized successfully in the past to educate the offender on the full consequences of their actions and allows the victim to express how the event impacted them. Restorative Justice has a very good track record in reducing recidivism in these types of crimes,” he said.
If you have any information about this, contact the Houston RCMP at (250) 845-2204 or Crime Stoppers at 1(800)222-8477.