With the federal elections quickly approaching, various political party candidate signs have been adorning roadsides and private residences around town for weeks.
On Friday, October 11, signs representing every political candidate were pulled from the ground around the Big Eddy Bridge. This was not the first case of sign vandalism this election cycle.
On Tuesday, September 17 a 31 year old local man was arrested and charged with mischief and destruction of property under $5,000 for wrecking two Conservative candidate party signs.
Cpl Thomas Blankey from the Revelstoke RCMP notes the man also resisted arrest and ended up being apprehended under the mental health act. “It’s hard to say if he was targeting a specific party,” Cpl Blankey explains.
When police arrest an individual and put allegations forward, ultimately it is the Crown’s decision to prosecute. They will, Cpl Blankey says, consider all factors, including the suspect being apprehended under the mental health act, before approving the charges.
“Every election cycle a couple of signs get damaged, but this is the first time we’ve managed to arrest someone for it,” says Cpl Blankey. In years past, vandals have not been caught on camera, in contrast to this year.
Cpl Blankey notes that petty destruction of property is rarely caused by locals.
“Residents who reside here 24/7 are respectful of the community. Generally, we see more destruction of property in November and December, when an influx of people who are staying short term, come into town.”
It’s the street and stop signs that end up broken then, when intoxicated revelers swing from them.
“It’s not locals doing that though,” he says. “And if the election signs were out then, we’d likely have more damage.”
Revelstoke RCMP would like to remind people to leave the signs alone. The Revelstoke Current recommends voting instead.