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Vandalism During the Pandemic

Vandalism During the Pandemic

Social distancing is the new norm for our society during this pandemic. Most people have been staying safe inside their homes. Unfortunately, there are some who are taking advantage of this momentous opportunity to do harm to their local communities.

While cities remain closed, they now face the concerns and troubles that come from vandalism including “spray-painted bleachers, missing signage, damaged athletic fields, torn-up synthetic playground surfacing and deliberately dismantled playground equipment.”

Vandalism is costly and dangerous to communities. Destructive activity tends to increase when people are vacant, such as holidays or weekends. Sadly, rascals are taking advantage of the pandemic and creating a heyday, intending to vandalize and terrorize cities. Local parks receive the worst of the damage.

What should a community do?

Here are some measures that cities should take to protect their cities from vandalism during this pandemic:

  • Communities should offer after school virtual programs for youth, especially inviting to those with destructive tendencies.
  • Cities should increase their budget for educating the community on how much vandalism costs them.
  • Security measures should be implemented, such as crime deterrent cameras that prevent vandalism.

Vandalism is damaging to communities, but it can be fought by investing a little effort into crime prevention tools and systems, such as the examples above.

Graffiti on Train

Graffiti and Community Fear

According to the broken window theory, there are many phenomena which are nearly universally agreed upon as disorderly, such as broken windows. Graffiti falls under this umbrella of universally recognized disorderly phenomena. And as a disorderly phenomenon, graffiti fosters fear among the general populace. The presence of such blatant disorder on the walls of buildings and the sides of trains communicates a lack of control, anarchy if you will. The fact that people are able to vandalize private and public property implies that there is no authority which can stop or prevent these criminals. Thus, the presence of graffiti in a community diminishes the public’s trust in their government to protect them from crime and fosters an atmosphere of unease throughout the community.

Additionally, the aesthetic condition of one’s home heavily influence’s one’s mood and self-perception. If someone lives in a town which is riddled with graffiti, they are more likely to feel depressed from the subconscious worries of being in danger and feeling like their life is chaotic. Also, if a person’s town is dirty and dominated by graffiti, they will lose self-esteem by associating their personal worth with the neglect of their community’s appearance. People who live in unkept, rundown areas will think that they deserve to be treated the same way, deplorably.

Overall, illegal graffiti will lower the quality of life in a community. It must be stopped!

However, it is impossible for public authorities to always be available to deter graffiti criminals, especially since much graffiti is done late at night or where police are less likely to be patrolling. Having crime deterrent cameras, which can constantly “patrol” building exteriors or train yards, is the most effective method for combating illegal graffiti. As soon as the criminals approach an area where they might paint on the walls, they will be startled, and behavior modification will take place.

Vandalism and Decreasing Property Values

Vandalism and Decreasing Property Values

A study has been done which demonstrates that where crime rates go up, property prices go down. When property prices go down, the economic livelihood of a community suffers. All kinds of crime contribute to this housing value avalanche, even crimes which at first glance may seem harmless, such as vandalism.

However, vandalism is actually the crime which most negatively effects the economic values of homes in an area. The reason behind this reality is that crimes do not occur in a vacuum, isolated from each other. The repeated occurrences of crime in one area foster an atmosphere of lawlessness which emboldens would-be criminals to actualize their illegal intentions. After a certain number of crimes occur in a single area, the atmosphere gives birth to a crime hot spot.

Crime hot spots cause a significant decrease in housing prices in the immediate area, even more so than the average crime rate of the whole town. And the worst kind of hot spot is a vandalism hot spot. The logic is such: vandalism affects the appearance of an area long term, allowing everyone to witness the continual aftermath of a crime. House buyers read the anarchy and vulgarities of vandalism as a sign that no authority is in control of the area, that the neighborhood is in decline, and so they avoid these areas if they can. Research suggests that physically observable crimes more effectively induce fear in the community than non-observable crimes. Thus, the strongest correlation between levels of different kinds of crime that can be found is between presence of vandalism hot spots in a community and violence, care theft, and house burglary.

The best way to combat vandalism and defend the economic livelihood of a community is to utilize crime deterrent cameras. Most vandalism is extremely expensive to erase and repair and occurs at times when there is little chance of the perps being caught in the act. Therefore, by strategically placing crime deterrent cameras, would-be vandals will be halted before they have a chance to commit the rapid, yet costly crime. And preventing vandalism will benefit communities immensely, by removing this catalyst crime.

#FightVandalism #ProtectOurCities #NoGraffiti

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