Graffiti Free P.G. Back in Full Swing
Prince George, B.C.- The program that aggressively removes or covers graffiti in the City of Prince George is underway for the second straight year.
(at right, members of Groundwork cover up graffiti on a community hall – photo 250News archive)
The program is simple enough. Residents or businesses fill out an application form, and if approved, the team from GroundWork P.G. will do the work.
Groundwork is a team of men, parolees, who are transitioning from incarceration back into the community. Being part of GroundWork gives them an opportunity to give something back to the community.
“We have already received about a dozen applications” says Cheryl Livingstone-Leman, Community Co Ordinator with the City of Prince George. She says the team is working to paint over the graffiti as quickly as possible “The sooner the graffiti is painted over, the more effective the program.” Studies indicate that if graffiti is not removed or covered for a week, it is almost certain more graffiti will show up in the that area, or in the nearby community.
There are two parts to the program, with the City administering one and the Downtown Business Improvement Association administering the other. DBIA (Downtown Prince George) Executive Director Carla Johnston expects GroundWork to start painting over graffiti in the downtown by the end of this week “We’ve been doing an inventory, and the amount of graffiti is far less than it was last year.”
The City has been working with the Prince George RCMP to identify the vandals responsible for the graffiti ” Graffiti is vandalism, it is a crime” says Livingstone-Leman, “Often the symbols and words can be hurtful”. Graffiti removal is also part of a plan to reduce crime. When an area is plagued with graffiti it leaves the impression the area is not safe, that no one cares, or the neighbourhood can’t cope with the problem.
The City is relying on residents to report graffiti so it can be dealt with as soon as possible. The program runs as long as the weather is suitable for painting, last year it ran from May until October. Applications to have graffiti removed from private property can be found here.