Combat Illegal Dumping Using Social Media

Combat Illegal Dumping Using Social Media

Have you ever thought Social Media could help stop illegal dumping?

Today’s quickly evolving and advanced technology is currently becoming adapted to help solve crimes worldwide. Through the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, many community leaders and law enforcement entities are using this new technology to combat growing problems like illegal dumping and vandalism. Well placed surveillance cameras are catching these illegal acts against our communities and aiding in the identification of suspects as well as providing footage for evidence in courtroom cases. These cameras also have the added benefit of helping to deter the re-occurrence of these common crimes.

With the benefit of social media’s large audience, prosecutors now have more tools than ever at their disposal to vigilantly pursue perpetrators of illegal dumping and results have proven that these programs are working proactively well.

A case in point is the city of Youngstown, that has seen cases of illegal dumping drop by a record 40 per cent so far, and this number is climbing. Mayor Jamael Tito Brown’s “get tough on illegal dumping” initiative utilizes new Ohio legislation which features mandatory minimum fines and potential jail time for more serious offenders convicted of violating illegal dumping and anti-littering laws. With the new and revised statutes, city prosecutors can no longer turn a “blind-eye” in regards to those suspected of the crime of illegal dumping.

In addition to the new legislation, the city of Youngstown has also implemented a network of illegal dumping cameras designed to both identify suspects who are caught dumping illegally as well as deter those who seek out dump sites to unlawfully dispose of their solid waste. These photos are then displayed on Youngstown’s Facebook and other social media sites to help identify the suspects in question, as well as educate the public on the consequences of performing this heinous act.

All cities should use Social Media to combat Illegal Dumping.

Illegal Dumping: Fines and Community Service

Illegal Dumping: Fines and Community Service

“Trash begets trash” is a phrase that can easily sum up the growing problem of unlawfully dumped waste. The piles of illegally dumped materials often attracts other would-be dumpers to follow suit, further adding to the problem, and causing city officials to take action to try to prevent its recurrence. Some cities use serious fines and penalties, including community service, to help deter the crime of illegal dumping.

 

The cost of lawful waste disposal is among the many reasons people choose to commit this crime. Whether its cutting corners to save demolition and construction businesses money or citizens who do not want to pay out-of-pocket for the disposal fees, the crime amounts to the same; and it’s a serious one.

 

In addition to mandatory minimum fines and probation, many municipalities also handout lengthy community service hours. This community service often requires those who are convicted of illegal dumping to clean up popular dump sites. Community service not only cuts down on a city’s cost to clean up the sites, but also teaches perpetrators the kind of hard work and expense that goes into cleaning up these illegal dump sites. After completing their community service hours, it is rare that these wrongdoers go on to be repeat offenders of illegal dumping crimes.

 

Because illegal dumping is an issue that affects everyone in every neighborhood it occurs, local law enforcement and city prosecutors are determined to put a stop to this crime. Revised legislation and technology are the means by which city task-forces are accomplishing this goal. High-tech surveillance cameras are being placed in alleys and where popular dump sites are occurring, and consequently, reoccurring.

 

These illegal dumping cameras act as a two-fold means of deterring illegal dumping.

  • First as a means of identifying suspects and capturing evidence footage.
  • Second as a natural deterrent when the public is informed of its placement and an explanation of its use.

 

If your city has not yet introduced community service for illegal dumping crimes, it is time to think about it.

 

The High Cost of Vandalism

The High Cost of Vandalism

With a population of about 1-4 million citizens, the larger cities are the home to a diverse array of vandalism crimes. A city’s sprawling square-mileage features suburban neighborhoods, cosmopolitan-style downtown living, as well as industrial and factory-based businesses. Of all the crimes that cities experience, the only one that pervades all areas of the city is that of vandalism.

 

While the term vandalism is defined in Wikipedia as “the deliberate, malicious destruction or damage of public or private property”, the crime of vandalism can be broken down into different categories. Graffiti and defacement, window-breaking, and even arson all find themselves under the umbrella term of vandalism, with graffiti often being the most prevalent form of the crime.

 

Because of the high cost associated with an act of vandalism, many people consider vandalism to be one of the most expensive problems cities have to deal with. Los Angeles alone spends roughly $7 million annually on graffiti removal and prevention, while the overall cost of vandalism for the city’s taxpayers is much higher. These figures, however, do not include the cost of damages caused by vandalism on private property, which business and property owners must pay out of their own pocket to repair.

 

Damage caused by criminal acts, like scrap metal theft, are another prominent form of vandalism. City-owned utility properties, such as electricity distribution centers, can cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace damaged and stolen equipment by a thief’s intent on making a couple of bucks.

 

With such a high cost associated with any act of vandalism, the price of such a crime is placed on the citizens of the community in which it takes place. As most of the budgets for a large city are already heavily constrained, money spent to repair damages caused by vandalism would be beneficial to other, more productive, city-run programs.

 

 

Graffiti: Fines and Community Service

Graffiti: Fines and Community Service

H2>The problem of graffiti is a prolific one, plaguing many metropolitan areas throughout the world.<>/h2> The consequences of this crime also carry a heavy toll. Destruction of private or public property, caused by the defacing nature of graffiti, is the driving force behind the criminal charges associated with those convicted of the crime. These consequences carry a strict no-tolerance policy in most cities throughout the United States, because cities want to deter graffiti.

 

Because graffiti is such a massive, unruly problem, legislation designed to prevent its occurrence has seen stiffer fines and penalties in recent years. Mandatory minimum fines can start as high as $1,000, and is punishable by no less than six months in jail, or more, depending on the severity of the damage caused by graffiti. These fines often then go to budgets allocated for graffiti abatement in cities where budgets are constrained.

 

In addition to these fines, community service is also dealt to those convicted of property defacement where the individual is assigned to clean up graffiti areas. This community service acts as both a humbling experience for the perpetrator, as well as cuts down on the cost and resources used to clean up the graffiti. Through the hard work of graffiti abatement, those convicted of graffiti charges are much less likely to become repeat offenders of this crime, helping to deter further recurrences.

 

Because most acts of graffiti and vandalism in general, are committed in areas and at times when there is less of a chance the suspect will be caught, the apprehension of suspects by law enforcement is highly unlikely; leads are very rarely followed up on.  If the graffiti was committed on a private residence or business then the responsibility of cleanup falls solely on the property owner, the victim of this type of crime.

 

Using specialized anti-graffiti surveillance cameras, suspects committing this crime can be easily identified. Evidence footage captured by these cameras is then used in cases to successfully prosecute individuals charged with property defacement. These cameras also act as a graffiti deterrent when the public is well-informed of their intention and placement.

 

Deterrence can be accomplished with community awareness that the area is being watched and hefty fines that include community service.