Does Kemptville have a vandalism problem?

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On July 13, some graffiti was discovered on one of the benches at a baseball diamond in Kemptville’s Riverside Park. The squiggly purple line of spray paint running almost the entire length of the bench is admittedly not very creative, but a costly nuisance nonetheless. Comments on a social media post about the incident revealed that this may be just one incident in a local problem with a much wider scope.

“After coming off a beautiful evening paddle on our own well-loved creek, we came home to a gas slick,” wrote one commenter. “Someone had been running a boat engine in the creek purposefully, since they did not pass us on our travels. It was disgusting. People need to think about others and then maybe this destruction won’t happen.”

Other locals expressed similar allegations about a man who uses the creek to test out his boat engine that is in dire need of repair, leaving a noticeable slick of gasoline everywhere he goes. “Something has to be done before our piece of heaven is destroyed,” a commenter lamented.

Yet another comment on the original post suggests that graffiti is “everywhere” in Kemptville, and alleges that children who are up to no good in the nighttime may be responsible.

One harsh reality is that no town will ever completely eliminate acts of graffiti and vandalism. Some believe that children and teenagers commit such acts when they are bored, though boredom is clearly no excuse for crime. Kemptville arguably has much more to do in terms of recreation than surrounding towns in the area. Others suggest that graffiti is a sign of a troubled youth expressing anger with the world.

It is probably true that no matter how much surveillance is put in place or how many consequences are threatened, acts of vandalism will always occur to some degree, and the perpetrators will seldom be caught. Many of us can remember the thrill of doing something we weren’t supposed to as youth and taking steps to ensure we wouldn’t get caught. As adults, we have a deep understanding of why vandalism is wrong, but that is because we are adults. Learning lessons is part of growing up.

In regards to what happened at the ball diamond, there is no doubt that if the perpetrator is caught, there should be consequences, as it is a natural part of life. In the meantime, I can’t help but be amused by the egg we would all be wearing on our faces if the culprit was an adult, disgruntled after paying his property taxes, or a young child’s innocent attempt to give the bench a nice coat of paint!

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