While a bus bench advertisement featuring her husband

Call for security cameras after benches vandalized

NANAIMO – Realtor’s ads hit for second time in a year.

After another incident of defaced bus bench advertisements, the wife of the Nanaimo realtor targeted is suggesting surveillance cameras be installed along Hammond Bay Road.

Minnie Li, wife of Nanaimo realtor Xu Sun, said a pair of Hammond Bay Road-area benches near Yorkshire Terrace and Neck Point Park were vandalized with sexually explicit and racist imagery and language on Sunday.

Sun’s advertisements were also vandalized in June of last year.

Li said the cameras would be multi-purpose and would do more than catch vandals. Nanaimo’s population is growing and she is concerned about people’s safety as well.

“We need something to supervise the streets, not just for the bus bench, for everything, at least for Hammond Bay Road,” said Li.

Gordon Foy, City of Nanaimo manager of transportation, said there are more than 200 bus benches on city streets. Installing cameras wouldn’t make sense, given the number of benches, he said.

“I don’t think that’s on our radar right now. That would be both costly and obviously, there would probably be privacy issues that would have to be considered,” said Foy.

In last year’s incident, eight benches were spray-painted. But such vandalism doesn’t occur frequently, said Foy.

“We do have vandalism from time to time on some of our bus shelters, not so much on the benches … it’s just part of having infrastructure out in the public realm,” said Foy.

“Sometimes people do bad things to it, and it’s unfortunate, and it costs the contractor and the city money, but we do our best to keep things in good shape and clean and maintained.”

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said police were made aware of the situation late Wednesday morning, and are looking into it.

Foy said if anyone notices vandalism on bus benches, please call the ad contractor, Creative Outdoor at 1-800-661-6088.

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