Halton Regional Police Service
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Vandalism and Graffiti

The wilful damage or defacing of property belonging to another person or the public is a criminal offence.

Vandalism may be perpetrated whenever the opportunity exists. It often occurs on school property after hours, in public parks after dark and on vacant premises. Vandals usually do their mischief when they think that no one will see them and/or when no one is likely to stop them.

Most acts of vandalism are committed by children and young persons. Therefore, a great responsibility rests with parents to set good examples. Parents must realize the importance of monitoring their child/ren's various stages of development as well as any changes in interests, friends and/or attitudes.

Parents must ensure their child/ren does not succumb to the types of negative pressures that may get them into trouble.

There is much property owners can also do to curb incidents of vandalism. The Halton Regional Police Service suggests the following preventive measures:

  • Improve lighting
  • Rapid reporting of vandalism incidents and suspicious persons loitering in an area where an act of vandalism may be committed. Do not assume that someone else has already made the call.
  • Maintain a "good neighbour'' policy. Watch out for your neighbour's property as well as your own.
  • Be aware of your children's associates and activities
  • Inform your children about the criminal consequences of vandalism. Ask that your children observe a curfew in your home.

Graffiti

Graffiti is a wilful act of vandalism that involves writing, drawing or symbols applied to any surface without the consent of property owners, authorized agents or designates. If left unchecked, graffiti crime can grow into a larger problem within Halton Region.

In an effort to curb the growth of graffiti and maintain the beauty of our communities, the Halton Regional Police Service offers members of the public the following series of tips:

  • To Prevent Graffiti Crime:
    • Restrict access to walls by planting ivy, thorny bushes or trees
    • Apply graffiti-resistant coatings to protect walls
    • Increase lighting and visibility in vulnerable areas
    • Install video surveillance to monitor isolated areas
    • Establish a strong Neighbourhood Watch or Business Watch program
  • If/When Witnessing Graffiti Crime:
    • Report it immediately
      • Call the Halton Regional Police Service at 905-825-4777
      • Submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)
    • Provide the police with descriptions of the suspects and/or suspect vehicle, including the make, model, colour and/or licence plate
    • Do not remove the graffiti until the police are notified
  • Post-Report:
    • Remove the graffiti as soon as possible after the police have been contacted and/or investigated

The Town of Oakville has adopted a Graffiti Eradication Strategy. Its intent is to remove graffiti on public road corridors and in parks within 72 hours of it being discovered or reported. Contact the Town of Oakville Graffiti Hotline at 905-338-4392 for more information.