Beiseker has recently experienced an uptick in spray-painted vandalism and litter around the community, especially in the village's parks and public facilities.
The local municipal government believes that damages are being caused by only a few individuals in the community.
In response to the recent incidents, Village council has urged residents to report any wrongdoing they may see and to encourage their children to respect village property.
Beiseker’s Mayor, Warren Wise, has expressed a commitment to working closely with the local school to educate students about the consequences of vandalism and property damage.
“We are working with the school to try to evaluate. We feel the vandalism was probably done by young people,” Wise said.
In an email to the Rocky View Weekly, Airdrie RCMP's media relations officer, Cpl. James McConnell, outlined a few effective measures to prevent the spread of vandalism and explained the penalties that await those who engage in such behaviour.
McConnell said RCMP will use an evidence-based approach to collect and analyze evidence to try and identify those responsible.
“The RCMP investigate reports of vandalism as they would any other investigation. They gather evidence; photographs, video surveillance, and witness statements,” McConnell explained.
According to RCMP statistics, young adults aged 18 to 24 are the most likely to engage in criminal offending behaviour.
Vandalism falls into the criminal code as Mischief Section 430 of the Criminal Code, and the punishment can be a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment of up to two years, McConnell noted in his email.
To help prevent vandalism, the RCMP recommends that citizens maintain their property, keep areas well-lit, install motion lights, trim overgrown shrubbery and plants, remove any objects that could be easily stolen or used in vandalism, and install security cameras or systems.
The RCMP also encourages community members to report any suspicious behaviour or incidents of vandalism or property damage they witness to the police.
“The community and police must work together to address the problem of vandalism,” McConnell said. “Programs like Citizens on Patrol and Crime Stoppers are instrumental in assisting with vandalism and other criminal behaviour.”
The Village of Beiseker hopes that with the support of local community policing initiatives, they can reduce future incidents of vandalism and maintain a beautiful and respectful community for all.