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Sun Peaks taggers might be motivated by media attention

A wall that has been repeatedly tagged and painted over.
February 16, 2015 - 7:29 PM

KAMLOOPS – A certain someone has gained notoriety by spray painting tags all over the Sun Peaks resort, but the director of the Kamloops Graffiti Task Force is hoping the exposure will stop.

“The more media coverage they get, the happier they are,” Ronnie Bouvier says. “The challenge will be to get your tag in print or on film.”

Though Bouvier believes the vandals crave the attention, a criminology professor is not certain the media attention can be blamed for the rabid tagging.

"If the graffiti is this pervasive, perhaps this might be indicative of some sort of copycats," Christopher Schneider, a criminology professor at Wilfred Laurier University says. "But we cannot know with absolute certainty (that media had an influence) until if or when we capture the suspect or suspects and then they tell us 'I saw it being covered in the paper or on TV and it made me do it more.'"

While the Kamloops task force has been working with the village to clean up the mess the RCMP sent three news releases to media by last week concerning over 100 tags in the village.

“Right now they just want to be known,” Bouvier says. "We have to work as a community to clean it up."

Bouvier says the amount of tags that have surfaced at Sun Peaks are the same amount her crew sees daily in Kamloops. While the number of tags is concerning it's even more concerning that none of it has been art.

"We’re not getting any nice art, not getting urban art," Bouvier said recently, "Just the scribbles and the horrible stuff."

Daycares, tot lots and murals were among the damaged surfaces last year and Bouvier notes there no longer seems to be a 'code' or 'rules' being followed. Taggers go over each others' tags and actual graffiti artists are reluctant to take part in any projects because they are worried their work will be tagged by the vandals, much like the graffiti at the McArthur Island skate park, some of which was intended as a memorial, was last year.

The amount of tags for Kamloops in 2014 totalled over 151,000 square feet – the same amount as two-and-a-half Canadian football fields.

To contact a reporter for this story, email, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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