The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is encouraging residents to report incidents in which local election signs have been interfered with or damaged, as it is an offence under the criminal code of Canada and the Canada Elections Act.
Charges for anyone found to be destroying or vandalizing election signs can include mischief to property.
The OPS says it's seen multiple complaints on social media about local election signs being damaged, but just one formal complaint has been filed so far.
"We want these incidents reported, particularly if they involve graffiti that is deemed to be hate-motivated," says S/Sgt. Jamie Aldrich from the OPS Hate and Bias Crime Section. "Anything that promotes hate, violence or intolerance is offensive to everyone in the community."
A resident called the OPS, Monday, August 30, when they saw two young people damaging signs in the city's west end. Officers visited the scene and say the tampering did not involve any hate motivation. The suspects received verbal warnings.
Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca.
Any owner of a sign that is damaged can report incidents after the fact online or through the Police Reporting Unit at 613-236-1222 extension 7300.