Delta Police have identified a number of youths behind an increase in graffiti and vandalism in Ladner over the past few months.
According to a recent DPD press release, incidents include private vehicles being spray painted, public washrooms in parks being vandalized, a restaurant targeted with derogatory graffiti and a broken window at a business.
Const. Ken Kirk, who head’s the DPDS’s district community police office in Ladner, has identified all the youths involved in those instances and has spoken both with them and with their parents or guardians.
“Given the ages of those involved — averaging 13 and 14 in Grades 8 and 9 — I wanted to ensure we dealt with this via education as a first step,” Kirk said in a press release.
Kirk has involved the Delta School District, DPD school liaison officers and the police youth team, which works with youths with more complex needs, and they are exploring options to provide teens with positive activities during the pandemic, as many typical pastimes may be curtailed under current conditions.
“Our concern is that we want to ensure these kids get on the right path, and that they have the resources in place to support them,” Kirk said.
Police say Kirk has also taken tougher measures when needed, such as seizing drugs, and in one recent instance arresting a 16-year-old after alternative measures had failed. In that instance, Kirk had caught the teen committing an act of vandalism.
“We’re trying to ensure we deal with this as a community. We’re working with local businesses, property management companies and the City of Delta to provide estimates of repair costs.” Kirk said. “The possibility of restitution is an option that we would like to explore.”
Police are asking parents to speak with their children about the negative impacts of graffiti and vandalism and ask them to report any rumours or information about damage that’s been done — or is being planned — to a trusted adult.