There’s no such thing as too much surveillance, says Mount Pearl Mayor Randy Simms.
He says if it was up to him he’d have a camera on every corner to catch people committing “stupid” acts such as graffiti.
“To me, one of the ugliest things that exists in any urban centre are these tagging operations and that kind of ugly blight on the landscape. We try desperately to get rid of it and it costs us thousands of dollars in repainting and things all the time,” Simms told reporters following council’s meeting Tuesday.
Three men have recently been charged with causing property damage to the city through graffiti, and Simms said he and the rest of council are fed up with it.
“Now we’ve bitten the bullet and we bought 12 cameras, 10 are already dispersed with two more to go. We are determined to try to do something about it,” said Simms.
“But my fear is every time we address it, my fear is that by addressing it publicly, and by talking about it, we actually encourage it and I don’t want to do that if we can.”
But he said there is a recognition by city council and residents that it is a cost to everyone and he wants to see it stopped.
“I want whoever is found guilty to have the full extent of the law thrown in their face. It serves no purpose for every mailbox or powerbox in the city to be covered in graffiti by some idiot who has got to stick some kind of a stupid, ugly tag on it and make the city look like a ghetto. It annoys me,” he said.
Simms said last year the city had large pieces of board going around the construction site at the new multiplex on which artists painted pictures.
He said, the wind became an issue for the boards and the city had to install a chicken-wire fence instead.
The mayor said the city is interested in doing it again for the talented artists who are interested, but staff are looking for the right place to display the works.