Police go to the wall, six vandals arrested
October 11, 2008
The Hamilton Spectator [Ontario]
(Oct 11, 2008)
It appears somebody doesn’t like the extra heat Hamilton police have been giving graffiti taggers lately.
Even as police made their sixth mischief arrest in a month Thursday night — catching a tagger red-handed at Gage Avenue North and Lloyd Street — anti-police scrawl has begun appearing.
Sergeant Mark Schulenberg says the anti-cop, anti-law messages began showing up earlier this week, after police arrested a 14-year-old tagger painting park equipment in Waterdown.
“It could be pushback (for arrests),” he said yesterday.
The new messages include a sign painted on the John Street wall of the John Sopinka courthouse that has a crude suggestion for “The Law.” Two more on Wellington Street North near the detention centre say “Off The Pigs” and “Burn Prisons.”
There’s a plea for “No More Cops” in fresh paint on the wall of a store at Mary Street North and Barton Street.
“It may be someone trying to get a message out,” said Schulenberg, adding the signs are not tags, just “anti-police, anti-justice slurs.”
Nevertheless, he says, police have no intention of letting up on spray painters. “Graffiti has already been targeted as a strategic priority for us for 2009,” he said.
Schulenberg also noted police are getting more tips from the public about graffiti because “they’re tired of it.” Graffiti makes an area look as if no one cares about it, which can attract other crimes.
The sixth tagger charged with mischief in a month was caught in the act by a uniform officer on routine patrol Thursday at 9:30 on Gage Avenue North. He saw a young man near Lloyd Street spray painting the tag ‘SCD.’
The officer arrested two youths including the painter. The “artist” has been charged with mischief under $5,000.