Police in Campbell River say vandalism is far more prevalent than one might think.
It’s so rampant, RCMP Cst. Maury Tyre finds there are simply not enough officers to stake out local parks, neighbourhoods, and construction sites often targeted by vandals.
According to Tyre, the bulk of the vandalism and mischief is being conducted by teens. He says they’ve been caught on video, and, in some cases, in the act.
“In the last year,” explains Tyre, “we’ve had teens shoot out peoples windows with pellet guns, throwing rocks through windows, stealing or moving traffic control devices, breaking fences, smashing peoples lawn lights, and spray painting and keying cars.”
As Tyre puts it, while many incidents are still under investigation, vandalism can inevitably have a much deeper impact on the victims facing the brunt of it all.
“Blowing out someone’s window could mean they can’t put food on their table for a month because they have to fix that window,” Tyre says. “Maybe the people whose property is being damaged are just one small step away from a nervous breakdown.”
For Tyre, a recent incident that comes to mind involved a group of teens. Last month, he says the teens, between the ages of 13 and 15, were drunk behind a soccer field house, breaking the siding of the building for “no apparent reason.”
With this in mind, Tyre’s calling on parents and guardians now more than ever. He’s asking them to sit down with their kids and talk about what’s going on around town, explaining what’s acceptable and what’s not.
“Every one of us is capable of making foolish mistakes, what would make us inclined to believe our kids would not do the same? It’s our job to teach them better,” Tyre adds.
He continues, “The reality is nobody wants their belongings destroyed, and as nice as police can be, most of us don’t want cop cars and officers at our doors unannounced with our kids in cuffs.”