A handwritten sign taped to the wall of Coastal Community Credit Union expresses the sentiment of much of Port McNeill to a series of 'tagging' — illegal grafitti — incidents in the town over the Canada Day long weekend.

Vandalism mars McNeill holiday

A series of "tagging" incidents spread over multiple days left numerous local buildings marred with illegal graffiti.

PORT McNEILL—A series of “tagging” incidents spread over multiple days left numerous local buildings marred with illegal graffiti and spoiled Canada Day weekend for much of the community.

“I find it disgusting,” Port McNeill RCMP constable Carl McIntosh said. “It’s disrespectful and it won’t be tolerated.”

The graffiti, which featured a recurring tag, was applied with multiple colours of spray paint as well as felt marker and even chalk. McIntosh said the RCMP is still cataloguing the total number of incidents.

“There’s an extensive list of buildings that have been vandalized,” he said. “Most of the commercial buildings in the community, along with some of the non-commercial buildings, including the medical clinic and school.

“The disturbing reality is this happened over a few days, and at a significant cost to the merchants.”

Some of the graffiti was scrubbed away or painted over by Monday, including tags scrawled on the BC Hydro kiosk painted by local artist Heather Brown.

“Vandalism or ‘tagging’ is frustrating at best, but the people who did this crime have also vandalized the beautifully painted Hydro boxes at the waterfront,” town councillor Gaby Wickstrom posted on Facebook. “Heather Brown poured hours of work and her heart into painting those works of art. You should be ashamed of yourselves!”

Many of the tags remained Monday at other locations, including the Visitors Information Centre sign, as Canada Day activities took place nearby at Gate House Community Theatre.

The local CIBC bank building and Coastal Community Credit Union, which face each other across Broughton Boulevard, were both tagged, along with the Peoples Drug Mart mall.

Replies to Wickstrom’s social media post indicated windows at the Town Office had also been tagged.

McIntosh is asking any member of the public who may have information about the incidents or perpetrator(s) to come forward. Anyone with information may call the local detachment at 250-956-4441 or leave an anonymous report at the Crimestoppers hotline, at 1-800-222-TIPS.

“We’re actively soliciting the public’s support in the investigation,” he said. “I’m offended, not only as a police officer, but as a resident.”