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Wire theft boosts crime costs

The costs associated with vandalism to Delta parks would have dropped in 2007 had it not been for wire theft.

Wire theft, washroom damage and graffiti resulted in a $115, 982 bill for the parks department, within the average range for vandalism in the past number of years said parks director Ken Kuntz in a report to council.

“If you remove the cost of wire theft the total drops to $81,479, which indicates that overall the ‘vandalism’ portion of our annual bill seems to have dropped,” wrote Kuntz.

Topping the list for Delta’s “most problematic 10 parks” were Mackie and John Oliver in North Delta, the two main targets for wire theft that year.

Ladner Lions was listed at number three, followed by Hawthorne Park in Ladner and Delview Park in North Delta.

Damage to the washrooms as well as graffiti put repair costs at these three parks between $4,311 and $5,734 each.

Kuntz reported that to reduce instances of wire theft, electrical junction boxes are being modified or covered.

And while security locking systems prevented damage to park washrooms when closed, vandals damaged partitions, fixtures, lighting and counters when they were open.

Kuntz concluded, “Vandalism in parks continues to be an issue that costs upwards of $100,000 annually. It is an ongoing challenge that requires staff attention to explore new concepts in design and prevention.”

kthiessen@southdeltaleaer.com

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