VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) — Business owners in Vancouver are fed up with people vandalizing their stores with graffiti.
KOIN 6 News learned the city does not have a code that addresses graffiti directly, so police can only arrest people if they catch them in the act. Business owners, such as Jackie Steiner, said when no one is caught, they are responsible for the cost of repairs.
“When it’s tagged and nobody is caught, we pay for it by our own pocket as business owners,” said Steiner.
Assistant City Attorney Philip Gigler said he is hoping to change the current code to include graffiti as a crime.
“Under the new proposed ordinance, not only would graffiti be specified as a crime specifically, possessing graffiti implement would now be criminalized as well,” said Gigler.
Gigler added that the ordinance would also impact homeowners, requiring them to clean up their property immediately if someone vandalizes it.
“Our minimum property maintenance code holds property owners responsible for maintaining their area and this will add specifically graffiti in that whole code,” said Gigler.
Additionally, parents of children who are repeat offenders caught vandalizing could be required to pay a fine.
“If my kids were out graffiting, I’d hang them by their feet, and you know, they can come over here and clean off the building also,” said Steiner who supports the new proposed ordinance.