Within the Plan d'action corporatif en matière de graffitis 2008-2010, the SPVM Graffiti Committee, led by commandant Eric Lalonde, chief of PDQ 16, set up a pilot project to develop prevention and suppression strategies concerning graffiti.
Dubbed Project Graffiti, it will initially be established in September at four PDQs inundated with these problems, then extended throughout the island. For the moment, it will concentrate on PDQ 3 (Île-Bizard, Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Sainte-Genevieve), PDQ 16 (Verdun), PDQ 35 (Rosemont - La Petite Patrie) and PDQ 45 (Rivière-des-Prairies).
Each of these neighbourhood stations will have an appointed police officer "representing the PDQ in regards to graffiti" or RPG. They will become the resource for their colleagues about graffiti and will establish the direct links with the other authorities (Bureaux d'arrondissements or town halls) in order to better direct our interventions.
This pilot project also includes a preventative aspect thanks to a campaign intended for parents and store owners that will include informational meetings and pamphlets.
We will encourage parents to sensitize their children about the impact of graffiti, because youth must be conscious that when they commit such a crime, they will be exposed to legal ramifications that could lead to a criminal record.
A youth who commits a graffiti crime could also be sued in civil court to, among other punishment, refund the expenses caused in cleaning the violated area. Families could then be forced to pay for the repairs as they are held responsible for the child.
The pamphlet for store owners explains what they should do if they become victims of graffiti and offers advice for those who sell spray-paint used to make the graffiti.
In 2007, 2,403 graffiti vandalisms were reported on the island of Montreal. The SPVM estimates that the majority of the graffiti criminals are between 10 and 16 years old.
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