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Don’t Compromise your Parks to Vandalism

Don’t Compromise your Parks to Vandalism

Imagine your favorite childhood playground. What comes to mind when you picture it? More than likely, you reminisce over fond childhood memories, gliding down a shiny, bright-red slide and flying high on the chain-link swing then jumping off to see how far you’ll land. If you lived in a city that cared about parks, you probably don’t think of vandalism or graffiti in the form of broken-down park benches and swear words scratched into the play equipment. However because parks are often targeted, cities pay large amounts of money to fix damages done to parks to ensure the beauty of recreation sites.

In Louisville, KY, a 2015 report showed that since 2010, there have been nearly $400,000 worth of damages done to city parks (https://wfpl.org/breaking-cost-vandalism-louisvilles-parks/). Among the damages are graffiti and theft. A common occurrence that Louisville parks face is stolen trash cans. Thieves can make around $3 for reselling a metal trash can, whereas it costs parks $10 to replace. This seemingly small number adds up to a sum that could be used towards city events or updating community gathering areas.

Unfortunately, vandalism and destruction are fates that public places regularly face, but there are ways to minimize the damage and costs that parks encounter on an annual basis:

  • Purchase unbreakable equipment that is difficult to steal (i.e. trash cans that are fused to the cement)
  • Install gates with locks 
  • Install bright lights
  • Install anti-vandalism cameras

Accepting the ruin of a community recreational site is not an option. And cities should not forfeit large bulks of money to protect the beauty of their parks. Anti-Vandalism Cameras are a great resource to protect and deter vandalism and graffiti.

#Nograffiti #Novandalism #ProtectParks #WeAreParksAndRec #StopVandalism

Graffiti Attracts Crime

Graffiti Attracts Crime

Most people sense crime is higher in neighborhoods with graffiti. Neighborhoods that are run down and less kept seem to have higher crime rates and are often the targets of graffiti, but why is this? Does graffiti attract more crime or does criminal behavior attract graffiti? The truth is they go hand in hand with one another.

There is a scientific reason why graffiti and other crime are affiliated with each other, “The mere presence of graffiti doubles the number of people littering and stealing in a neighborhood, new research suggests”

Graffiti is sometimes gang-related and attracts very dangerous criminals, but it also causes others to partake in more petty crime, or “rule-breaking” activities. This may be because people assume the value of the city or neighborhood with graffiti is lower than ones without, so they think it is ok to further damage it. Or it could be that the ongoing crime makes others think it is ok and they will not receive consequences because others have not. The research gathered is inconclusive as to why exactly graffiti breeds more crime, but we know it does.

Despite not knowing exactly why graffiti inspires criminal activity, it is possible to prevent and stop it. Power tools that remove hard-stained graffiti should be used to clean up graffiti immediately before more graffiti occurs. But a more cost-efficient solution is to prevent the crime from taking place at all. Purchasing anti-graffiti cameras is a better option to prevent and stop graffiti. 

It is better for communities to never have graffiti as graffiti becomes a beacon for more crime. Crime creates more crime, and “harmless” graffiti is no exception.

What is your neighborhood doing to stop graffiti?

#stopgraffiti #nograffiti #security 

Safe Parks are Healthy for the Community

Safe Parks are Healthy for the Community

Parks are an invaluable asset to all communities.  Communities with well maintained parks are thriving communities of healthy people.  Parks increase the community’s physical activities and interaction.  Parks are also known to reduce stress even if one only sits at a park bench.

For a park to provide what the community needs there are certain aspects to take into consideration.  Several characteristics that can negatively impact a park is crime, the suggestion of crime, or the suggestion of gang activity such as graffiti.  Graffiti and vandalism not only change the esthetic look of the park, it changes the feel of a park and the park is no longer inviting.

Here are some suggestions to combat the negative behavior that impacts your park:

  • Make sure there is adequate lighting
  • Create activities and programs that involve the community
  • Have Site Managers
  • Have walking routes
  • Display Maps at entrances and walk routes
  • Have Security Measures in place, such as Graffiti Cameras and patrolling officers
  • Clean up all vandalism and graffiti immediately
  • Maintain safety measures for the park and all park equipment

The NRPA has a tool to help communities evaluate their parks.  This NRPA site provides interactive tools like custom reports on value and budgets and presents data and key insights.   It would be beneficial for your parks department to look at the tools provided and use what will enhance your agency’s performance.

Keep your Park safe for a healthy community!

#ParksAndRecreation #graffiti #novandalism #publicworks #deterrence #police

Graffiti and Vandalism Cause Fear Among the Community

Graffiti and Vandalism Cause Fear Among the Community

Within a neighborhood, people expect to feel safe. Going to the store or the park with the family should not be a time of worry and feeling unsafe and vulnerable. Unfortunately, communities have the problem of graffiti and vandalism which causes citizens to fear their very own community.

There are many reasons why people might fear their community. One of the major reasons citizens are starting to fear their community is due to the increasing numbers of graffiti and vandalism crimes. These types of crimes are on the rise and they are causing fear that worse crimes are lurking in the shadows. When cities are covered with graffiti and other kinds of vandalism it gives the citizens a feeling of neglect, and that the crimes in the city are not being monitored and laws are not being enforced. According to statistics, “vandalism and other signs of physical deterioration are often taken as signs of other social problems, which in turn leads to fear within the society”. If these nuisance crimes aren’t taken care of, then people will continue to live in fear and not able to enjoy the parks and other community features the city has worked so hard to provide.

How can these crimes be limited?

  • Community participation:

When someone sees an act of graffiti or vandalism occurring, they should report it.  This is called Community Policing, which is very effective in helping the police force or park rangers curb nuisance crimes.

Crime Deterrent Cameras, which are different from traditional surveillance cameras, are essential tools to stop vandalism and graffiti before it happens.