Graffiti on a church in downtown Maple Ridge. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Graffiti on a church in downtown Maple Ridge. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Graffiti plagues downtown Maple Ridge

Often profane and offensive, says downtown BIA

Taggers and graffiti artists are running amok in downtown Maple Ridge.

They’re wearing out Ineke Boekhorst, because the executive director of the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association has taken on the task of painting over the ever-present mess. It is an ongoing problem, but lately has been worse.

“It really makes the downtown look horrible,” said Boekhorst, noting the wording is often profane and offensive.

“We know it’s only two or three people – it’s the same graffiti over and over and over again.”

She said the black spray paint is always the same wording, same letters and same style. It appears regularly, and is most prolific after a weekend.

“It’s really a nuisance, not very attractive, and often not very nice language.”

READ ALSO: Racist graffiti discovered in Maple Ridge park

City hall will contact a business owner, advising of their responsibility to remove graffiti at their own cost. The DMRBIA provides a service where they will paint over graffiti at no charge, if the business provides the paint. Boekhorst said the budget is generally $3,000 to $5,000 per year for staff time and materials, but expects that will be up after this year.

One city councillor has volunteered to help with repainting efforts, said Boekhorst.

“We are having a tremendous graffiti problem in our community,” Coun. Gordy Robson advised council last week.

READ ALSO: Mission’s 7-Eleven defaced with racist graffiti

Robson said Maple Ridge had a “major, major problem” with graffiti in 2005, until police caught the perpetrators. The offenders went through the youth diversion program, and one became a graphic artist.

Boekhorst would like the perpetrators caught, or even photographed in the act.

She asks anyone who witnesses someone defacing public property to contact Westgate Security (604-463-8933) or the Ridge Meadows RCMP (604-463-6521).

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