Many public buildings in Oliver have been hit with vandalism containing concerning messages in recent weeks. The most recent graffiti done on the side of a public washroom on June 12, 20202 has Oliver Parks and Recreation searching for solutions to this ongoing problem. (Oliver Parks and Recreation / Facebook)

‘Distressing’ graffiti has South Okanagan town searching for answers

Racial slurs and disturbing messages has community concerned for well-being of youth

A recent uptick of vandalism has Oliver Parks and Recreation staff perplexed and looking for solutions.

The town has seen a concerning amount of disturbing messages written on various public buildings and property in recent weeks. Many of the messages contain racial slurs or political messages, said recreation manager Carol Sheridan.

Sheridan said there’s been a lot of graffiti in the last couple years but called this year a “particularly rough start for graffiti this spring.” She said this may be because people are bored and have less to do due to COVID-19.

The vandalism itself is frustrating, but Sheridan is more concerned with the content of the messages.

“The messages that are coming up are just getting, in my opinion, more and more concerning,” said Sheridan. “There’s definitely been lots of racial slurs, as well as the usual ‘F’ this and ‘F’ that.”

She added that some obscene images have also been added. “Just because someone knows how to draw [them] does not mean it’s art.”

READ MORE: Keremeos Legion victim of vulgar graffiti

Simply painting over each vandalized building is what the town has previously done, but this doesn’t solve any of the underlying issues, said Sheridan.

Sheridan would like to see art such as murals put on some public buildings in hopes that it would prevent them from being tagged.

Parks and Recreation staff are hopeful that the town to will create some sort of task force to combat this growing problem.

To find a more permanent solution to the graffiti problem Oliver Parks and Recreation has reached out to the community for help via social media.

Some of the possible solutions that have already been suggested by residents and staff include:

  • Tracking paint sales and requiring ID to purchase paint
  • Reaching out to youth artists to commission public art
  • Creating a dedicated graffiti wall at the skate park where people can write whatever they want
  • Install cameras in commonly tagged places and punish people caught tagging buildings
  • Have artists paint murals
  • Restorative justice programs that would work with community organizations and schools to have vandals paint over the graffiti themselves

Overall, Sheridan said she was mostly concerned for the well-being of the people doing the vandalism due to the disturbing nature of some of the messages. “People are already worried about the kids in our community… I think those types of messages really struck people as sad. It could be a call for help.”

To contact Oliver Parks and Recreation staff with possible solutions email carol@oliverrecreation.ca.

READ MORE: Crime Stoppers seek information on ‘C the moon’ graffiti



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Liberals push NDP for fall school reopening plan

Local Liberal MLA says NDP government committed to plan being unveiled before Aug. 4

Okanagan and Shuswap MPs want federal funds to help stop invasive species

Concerns raised that spending favours Eastern Canada.

YMCA of Okanagan summer camps start up

Registration for July is now open

Summerland Ornamental Gardens remain closed

Staff and volunteers continue to weed and maintain plants

Lake Country traffic bottleneck solution still lacks funding

No money committed yet but province will unveil solution options for Highway 97- Beaver Lake Road-Glenmore Road intersection this fall

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly bear cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

Dog locks out Kelowna couple on 4th floor patio

Kelowna firefighters were called in to rescue the two people

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

Shuswap resident calls RCMP about vehicle with U.S. licence plates

Police summoned on July 4 regarding car parked with California plates

Homeowners arrive in North Shuswap to find thieves busy breaking in

Chase RCMP request assistance from public in tracking down suspects

Ryga Arts Festival to include virtual and in-person events

Arts festival in Summerland will run from Aug. 15 to 23

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Most Read