In the last decade, the Newton BIA (Business Improvement Association) has worked tirelessly to ‘take back the community’ with several successful initiatives.
From Team Tidy, which tirelessly keeps random garbage off the street, to the colourful and creative Mural programme, providing unique art that individually speaks to the community, and a beautiful reminder of our heritage and diversity.
Newton has evolved into a delightful place to walk and visit with friends at sidewalk cafes, stroller-friendly stores, and neighbourhoods over the years, but graffiti continues to be an ongoing concern.
Graffiti is an expensive and defacing form of vandalism.
It can range from indiscriminate ‘tagging’ or writing, etching, drawing or symbol applied to any public or private property without the owner’s Graffiti is used by “taggers” to establish their identity and, in some cases, to mark territory. They do not realize that their “artwork” significantly impacts their community, from business costs to aggravation when people of the community have to clean up the mess left behind. It reduces property values and promotes an undesirable image of our neighbourhood.
At the beginning of the summer, several hate-motivated graffiti incidents occurred in Newton.
Constable Sarbjit Sangha said that “multiple incidents of anti-Muslim graffiti” have been reported to the Surrey RCMP since July 5.
Investigators believe these incidents are connected and may be linked to the same person or group of people.
“These types of incidents have a significant impact on the feeling of safety and security for members of our Muslim community,” said Sangha. “Hate crimes and hate-motivated criminal activity have no place in Surrey, and our officers are working diligently to identify those responsible for these incidents.”
Harmful and hurtful racial slurs of any kind are not part of the community we know and love to raise our families in.
Seven years ago, the Newton BIA began a comprehensive removal program.
The goal of the Graffiti removal program is to reduce and prevent graffiti—promoting a safer and cleaner community.
The program requires residents, property owners, and business owners to maintain an environment that benefits us all.
The Newton BIA would like to acknowledge the great work that Goodbye Graffiti has been doing in our area for the last seven years. The Newton BIA contracted them back in 2015, and since then, they’ve removed 6,822 instances of graffiti from the town centre.
Last year, they added a new service, Goodbye Garbage, where they remove large garbage like mattresses, wood, etc.
Our Goodbye Garbage contract started in June of this year, and in the last two months, they’ve removed 69 pieces of large trash off the streets of the town centre.
The City of Vancouver claims they saw an 87% increase in service calls to 311 related to graffiti events.
As a result, the City supported an Integrated Graffiti Management Program that provides strategic direction and programs to manage graffiti and graffiti removal services on City-owned property.
“Businesses and property owners are responsible for removing graffiti from their property, but we all have a collective responsibility to manage graffiti and be stewards in our neighbourhoods,” said the statement from the City.
Philip Aguirre, Executive Director of the Newton BIA, would like a similar response from the City of Surrey.
“Since BIA’s are playing a vital role in removing graffiti from the town centres, the Newton BIA would love to see a collaboration with the City of Surrey when it comes to the handling of the problem; similar to the collaboration of the City of Vancouver and its BIA’s.”
The Newton News provides an opportunity for the Newton BIA to gain awareness in the community and promote local news, & BIA programs. This endeavor allows BIA members to advertise their businesses in the monthly publication. Pick up your copy of the Surrey Now-Leader today!