The morning after the graffiti tag went up on the stone wall at the base of IODE Park

Get tough on tagging

It’s a scourge that’s taking over the blank spaces in our community.

It’s a scourge that’s taking over the blank spaces in our community. Graffiti tagging is on the rise in Nelson and a prime example was this weekend’s scrawl across a stone wall at the foot of Hall Street.

As you can read in this story, the mess was quickly taken care of by a local man with community pride. His efforts are appreciated and so is his pledge to keep up an ongoing assault on those vandals who tag without regard for anyone but themselves.

But will it be enough to stop the jerks who deface private and public property? Unlikely.

The website graffitiactionhero.org explores this issue and here is one of the statements on its website: “The unwritten rules of street art used to be widely honored. Unless you could do something better, you don’t touch it.”

This creed held true in Nelson at one point too, but now these spray paint thugs have no respect. Nelson Hydro’s fantastic new electrical boxes were quickly tagged. Murals in alleys are now being damaged. It seems this new breed of tagger has lost any semblance of respect for others clearly more skilled than themselves.

A common wall for graffiti lovers to pursue their art is one possible solution. But as is quickly pointed out, the sad urge to be recognized for vandalism is sometimes the driving force behind senseless tagging.

As graffitiactionhero.org points out: “Street art is constructive, graffiti tagging is destructive. Street art is about the audience, graffiti tagging is about the tagger.”

The best solution is to come down hard on those caught in the act or revealed through investigation. The Nelson Police Department has a thick file on graffiti tagging and on a few occasions has been successful in making arrests.

Ultimately it will be up to the courts. No more slaps on the wrist for this kind of vandalism. A message must be sent that will make those committing these acts think more than twice about pulling out the spray cans.

 

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