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Graffiti Prevention

Fighting Graffiti Vandalism: Increases in Frequency, Vulgarity and Cost

Graffiti problems in cities across America are on the rise sharply. Graffiti vandalism is becoming more vulgar and reflecting more tension and racial animosity. In September 2015, multiple incidents of racial graffiti vandalism occurred in San Francisco. Even worse, people are being killed for confronting taggers or simply cleaning up graffiti. A child in Compton, California, was gunned down while painting over gang graffiti. A man confronting taggers painting gang graffiti on his property and was shot dead as he approached them.

Cities, churches, schools and private business owners alike are targeted, requiring larger budgets for crime prevention and graffiti abatement. After cleaning up graffiti, often the problem repeats within days in the same place vandals previously struck, causing major hassle, downtime and expense.

Although strategic suppression tactics to proactively prevent the graffiti from occurring is the optimal approach, rapid removal of all traces of graffiti is also key to preventing future incidences. This signals community pride for the area and property, and sends a message that graffiti vandalism will not be tolerated. Quickly addressing graffiti helps eliminate other forms of crime that might otherwise be attracted to the tagged area.

Elementary School

Is your school safe from the threats of vandalism and break-ins?

Schools are prime targets for vandalism and nuisance crimes. As the school year progresses, the likelihood of vandalism, break-ins, graffiti and other nuisance crimes tend to increase. Since the majority of these incidents typically originate from within the student body, effort to help the students build a strong connection with the school and developing feelings of pride for their school can be effective against nuisance crimes. Kids who love their school do not want to vandalize their school.

When school vandalism is perpetrated by adults, most often they are looking for expensive equipment and bulky items they can resell for cash. The damage in this type of school vandalism may be more concentrated to areas where items of higher monetary value are accessed, rather than full scale expressive, malicious destruction, including graffiti and arson.

Secure your school buildings and grounds with proper protective measures before vandals discover any vulnerabilities by taking proactive measure to stop these crimes before it can take place. Once vandalism strikes a school, the chances of repeat vandalism escalate, and so do the monetary and social cost risks.

As a form of natural motivation against nuisance activity, some schools are allowing students to create a mural which they design, within the area that vandalism takes place repeatedly. This can instill interest from the student body to preserve their works of art from being vandalized.

Glass windows on the ground floor are also a magnet for vandalism, and should be removed and replaced. Using physical barriers to obstruct vandals, adjusting lighting, and monitoring the school after hours is effective in deterring these unwanted activities as well.

Copper Theft

Prevent Copper Theft and Vandals Raiding Foreclosures or Vacant Properties

Vandals and copper thieves, magnetized to isolated or vacant buildings, plague foreclosed homes and vacant properties. Inflicting damages as they force their way in, they gain entry and carry out illegal activities, destroying anything they find. They leave graffiti, broken walls and flooded floors, buildings stripped of copper piping and wiring, glass breakage, defaced and dismantled appliances. Thieves robbing the copper from A/C units leave holes in roofs and buildings exposed to more damage by the elements, and vulnerable to trespassers, squatters and more nuisance crime activity.

Further, copper theft and the related criminal activity can become more dangerously hazardous. Live hot wires left exposed can electrocute unsuspecting victims who happen upon the scene. Natural gas leaks may produce explosions that destroy surrounding property and take lives.

 

Cost is only one of the factors. When vandalism strikes, the cost to replace the copper and expense of repairs usually far outweighs the actual monetary value thieves get for their loot. But lives can never be replaced. Assess your strategies for crime deterrence. Keeping ahead of criminals before they ever gain a foothold gives you the best advantage against crime.

Water Tower

Proactively Prevent Vandalism & Trespassing at Water Reservoirs

Water storage tanks and reservoirs continue to be targets of vandalism and a source officials monitor closely due to concerns of contamination and even terrorist attacks.

Vandals and trespassers may contaminate the local water supply and in some cases cause loss of the water supply. Several incidents of vandalism at water reservoirs over the past few years have resulted in several million gallons of water lost in each case, representing many months of clean water supply for the community.

In California’s drought, where the water supply is in precious demand, the loss is especially great.  In May of 2015, vandals struck the water supply on the Alameda Creek in Fremont, California. The damage inflicted to the inflatable dam on the creek resulted in 50 million gallons of clean water lost into the San Francisco Bay. The “No Trespassing” signs posted near Alameda Dam was not enough to keep out vandals. Robert Shaver, General Manager for the Alameda County Water District stated “the people that conducted this act definitely had malicious intent.”

Contaminated water causes illness and disease. Water supply disruptions affect factories, hospitals, schools, businesses and homes. When a community must go without its water supply, drinking water is not available and hygiene suffers, fire hazards increase as fire suppression sprinkler systems are down,  and water-cooled medical gas and suction compressors at hospitals (safety issue for patients on ventilation) are affected. Depending on the type or extent of the vandalism, unexpected flooding can occur, costing hundreds of lives.

By taking preventive actions and putting strong protections and maintenance procedures in place, you can help to ward off the hazards of vandalism and trespassers. Put fencing around the facility, locks on access manholes, ensure the roof is watertight, and cover vents with screens that keep out birds, insects, rodents and other undesirable elements. Water storage facilities and infrastructure must be protected and maintained properly, with regular inspections to maintain the integrity of the water’s safety.