Graffiti covers a wall in an alleyway bordering Rosser Avenue in downtown Brandon.
An obscene piece of graffiti on the front of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce building could soon be removed.
"We understand that the Brandon Chamber of Commerce building in Brandon would want to remove any graffiti as soon as possible after vandalism occurs," a spokesman for the provincial Department of Tourism, Culture, Sport and Consumer Protection said.
The department is also tasked with overseeing heritage buildings.
The chamber building, formerly the Merchants Bank, which is located on Rosser Avenue, was named a heritage site in 1987.
"We support their efforts to restore their building to its normal condition, and will continue to consult with them and offer whatever advice we can," the spokesman said.
"Techniques for removal of graffiti vary depending on the type of paint used and the kind of surface or building material that has been defaced. Given that techniques will vary, there are no specific rules or regulations but we can offer advice on conservation."
As part of a new initiative called the Graffiti Stop Program, Brandon Police Service officers will issue vouchers that will provide a discount on graffiti removal products to victims of the crime.
Coun. Corey Roberts (Rosser) expects the program will help and believes it’s important to clean up graffiti as quickly as possible.
"It’s important when people get tagged that they report it because chances are when the city police come down they will photograph it and a lot of the taggers paint a similar sign over and over again," he said.
"Once they catch them the police can charge them with multiple locations of mischief. It takes some time but it helps and it lets the police track it and know whether this year is worse or better than years before."
Roberts said putting the cans behind the counter would provide another level of obstruction between potential taggers, but isn’t sure how realistic it is considering there are oftens dozens of colours and types of spray paint.
"In a perfect world it would be ideal to get it behind the counter," Roberts said. "It’s a challenge for some retailers who don’t have the space and it makes it more difficult for genuine customers to purchase it."
Those sentiments were echoed by one retail store manager, who wished to remain anonymous.
"Setting up space or putting it under a lock would come at a cost to the retailer," he said, "and I’m not sure it would make much of a difference, because I feel like they would still find ways to get it."
» Twitter: @Charles Tweed
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 22, 2014