Graffiti has become a widespread problem in Lumby recently.

Graffiti has become a widespread problem in Lumby recently.

Graffiti sends wrong message

Somebody is painting a bad name over the Charles Bloom Secondary graduating class of 2012 in Lumby.

Somebody is painting a bad name over the Charles Bloom Secondary graduating class of 2012 in Lumby.

Lumby RCMP are dealing with some 13 different sites that have been painted with graffiti, or tagged, with “Grad 2012” throughout the village.

And police believe the same group responsible for the tagging is behind painting racial slurs, phallic symbols and the defacing of one of the village’s downtown murals.

“Other sites include CBSS school property, private and public property, businesses, dumpsters, signs and basically all over downtown Lumby,” said Lumby RCMP Cpl. Henry Proce. “This sort of wanton vandalism unfortunately casts a shadow over the entire graduation class of 2012.”

Proce said police believe this round of tagging was caused by about 10-12 youth who “went on a rampage” the night of Nov. 9.

To date, no one has come forward to provide police with concrete information, and no admissions have been made.

Interview are being conducted at CBSS, and the tagging does not sit well among the staff and student body.

“It’s obviously very disappointing that any action like this would happen in our community, it’s the actions of a few,” said principal Ken Gatzke.

“It doesn’t represent the whole student body. Our whole community has just been fantastic at supporting our kids in schools, so when things like this happen, it’s very disappointing and upsetting.

“We hope those involved will do the right thing and come forward, and be accountable for their actions and make things right.”

Gatzke is dealing with the situation at the school, interviewing students and parents.

RCMP are doing the same thing.

“From a police point of view, we have to investigate vigorously and recommend charges to Crown counsel,” said Proce. “For that, we need evidence.”

Police say graffiti is not art, nor is it an expression of creativity. It is a criminal activity.

“It’s out-and-out vandalism that creates fear within a community,” said Proce. “It costs businesses, communities and individuals money and time for clean-up, and encourages people to commit other acts of vandalism.”

Anybody with any information on the tagging is asked to call the Lumby RCMP at 250-547-2151.