High price tag on tagging


Kelowna RCMP is asking the public’s help to identify these three suspects who continue to vandalize our community.

AWKWRD has been linked to roughly 300 tags to various structures throughout the Kelowna area.

SOJA has been active in the downtown core, with more than 300 incidents over the summer.

SOCIAL has tagged numerous public and private properties throughout Kelowna.

These types of crimes are often discounted by the public as nuisance issues, says Cpl Jocelyn Noseworthy of the Kelowna RCMP. But the reality is this isn’t a victimless crime. Vandalism such as this takes away from the beauty of our city, and it encourages other criminal behaviour. 

Every year taggers cost the community more than $400,000 to paint over or remove graffiti on public property and more than $350,000 on private property. This year has been the busiest ever with staff cleaning more than 1,500 locations in August and September alone.

“Graffiti impacts our city’s image, deters patronage of commercial areas and negatively impacts real estate investment potential or neighbourhood perception,” said Scott Isfan, Community Policing Coordinator. “If it’s not immediately removed, graffiti can serve as an invitation to littering, loitering, additional graffiti, and other forms of crime and acts of violence.”

Graffiti on public and private properties, without property owner permission, is vandalism and the RCMP is looking for residents help in identifying three prolific offenders who continue to vandalize our community.

“The staff and funding resources required to attend these locations every year mean that staff time and funding are no longer available for other valuable community initiatives and programs,” said Isfan. “Our team remains committed to staying on top of graffiti removal in our community and assisting Kelowna RCMP in bringing tagging offenders to justice.”

All residents can help keep Kelowna beautiful by reporting, recording and removing graffiti as soon as they see it. Use the service request system at kelowna.ca to report the exact location and even include a photo or leave a detailed message on the City hotline at 250-469-8600 (option 6).

In partnership with Crime Stoppers, a $500 reward is offered for tips that lead to an arrest for graffiti vandalism. Tips can be reported by calling 1-800-222-8477, texting ktown to CRIMES (274637) or leaving a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net

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