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Tips for combatting graffiti

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Residents of the Charleswood neighbourhood of Westdale have been dealing with a rash of graffiti over the past month that has seen numerous telephone/cable boxes, fences, garages, a playground, and benches along the Harte Trail all get tagged. 

"This is so disappointing to see," says resident Jennifer Wellborn, who has noticed three sets of tags.  

Although my property was not part of this latest round of vandalism, it has been tagged in the past and the experience led me to seek tips from the City of Winnipeg.

Fortunately, the city has excellent information and a free, year-round graffiti removal program that is easy to access.

One of the most important things to know is that graffiti feeds graffiti. If you find it, have it removed as soon as possible so you do not send the message that nobody cares about the area.

I also found it interesting that there is a misconception that the taggers will retaliate if property owners have the graffiti removed. While it may reappear, if you remove it again within 24 hours, taggers may move on to a property where the owner does not act.

Keeping your property well maintained is helpful. Consider investing in more lighting or try using clinging vegetation, like ivy, to eliminate large writing surfaces. For sensitive surfaces, such as brick or stucco, a protective anti-graffiti coating may be worth the investment.

Did you know that free materials are provided to individuals who are willing to clean up the graffiti?

Paint vouchers and graffiti wipes are available at district police stations after making a graffiti report in person. Coupons can be redeemed at a participating Dulux Paints location.

If you would rather let the city take care of the removal, call 311 or go online to the city website and complete the waiver form which gives crews permission to remove graffiti from your property.

David Hultin is a community correspondent for Charleswood.

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