There isn’t a specific demographic profile of vandals. Most commonly, they are adolescents that believe this crime is just a “harmless prank” without considering the safety hazards and financial burden they are causing. There’s no clear explanation to this behavior and could be a result of many things such as stress, anger or even just boredom.
School vandalism is especially increasing across the country. In one night, vandals can destroy campuses, steal valuable equipment such as computers, band instruments or even copper wiring from air conditioning units. When schools are vacant and unmonitored, these campuses become easy targets for criminals.
The vandalism deterrence features of the FlashCAM systems are especially effective in protecting these properties like schools or unattended construction sites. The images that our customers typically see when downloading from their FlashCAMs are of the criminals looking at the FlashCAM, and the next image of them running off, stopping them in their tracks even before they had the chance to strike.
The destructive effects of vandalism, graffiti and material theft are not only impacting the environment of schools across the nation but also the safety of the students attending these institutions. Broken glass from a recent act of vandalism may endanger the safety of the students on the playgrounds. Graffiti on campuses may instill fear and unease amongst both student and faculty.
Many studies have also linked the effects of the building quality tot he academic performance and behaviors of the students. For example, a classroom without air conditioning on a hot summer day, due to copper thieves destroying the unit to extract the metal, impacts the attention span of the students. Children that are exposed to this destruction of property at an early age may be more inclined to conduct these behaviors themselves. These studies concluded that a good physical environment of a school is more conducive to learning, with less distractions and providing a safe haven for the students and faculty to grow and thrive in.
To prevent these nuisance crimes from making school grounds a liability, continuous maintenance to reverse the damages or even preventing these crimes from happening is crucial. As with any form of destruction, uncontrolled areas tend to attract other types of crime, creating a larger issue that may grow to an unmanageable condition. Unfortunately, prompt action to address these unplanned and unwanted events is not only costly, but also wastes valuable time and resources for most schools that are already facing tremendous budget cuts across the board. Thousands of dollars are being spent fixing broken windows and painting over graffiti, when these funds could be allocated to a program that contributes to the overall education system.
Source: National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities. November 2002. Operational Guidelines for Educational Facilities. July/August 2011.
Schools that have implemented a FlashCAM program on their campuses have all reported a dramatic decline in unwanted activity such as graffiti, vandalism, trespassing and metal theft.
The customizable voice message and bright flash features of the FlashCAMs deter the criminals before they engage in the activity, while the high resolution images that showcase individuals in the act are used to clearly identify individuals for prosecution.