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What will the year 2017 bring in the form of nuisance crimes, such as vandalism and graffiti?

Nuisance Crimes in 2018

What will the year 2018 bring in the form of nuisance crimes, such as vandalism and graffiti?  Where do these small but costly infractions fit in with the budget?

Policing is an important safety measure that ensures quality life for the citizens of every city.  Without policing, there is chaos.  Unfortunately, there are those who intimidate the weak and the defenseless, and without our police, there is a “Lord of the Flies” mentality.  In a civilized nation, we have come to expect safety when walking to the grocery store, when taking the kids to the park to play, or when walking  the dog around the block.  If we do not have police and laws, the freedoms we now enjoy will only be free in theory.

After the horrendous November 27, 2016 shooting at Bourbon Street, police are increasing their presence in the French Quarter.  Besides extra staffing , cameras have also been placed in strategic places.  The city is making it known that extra measures are being put in place.

With the police having to deal with these bigger issues, how will the problem of graffiti and vandalism be handled?  Will there be enough police to patrol the secluded areas around the city to stop the blight that brings down the quality of life, through unsightly markings and broken windows?

According to the Center for Evidence-Base Crime Policy, there have been evaluations for the last 20 years that focus on crime and disorder in “hot spots”.  Accordingly, focusing on a hot spot can include many approaches for a solution.  With the police being tasked with larger issues, the department will have to be creative with the resources available to them.  The evidence  to reduce the nuisance crimes, such as graffiti, vandalism and loitering seems to be very convincing.  Ridding the city of defacement either in the form of illegal drawings or the destruction of property will help with the overall policing in the area and should be considered in the budget.

 

 

City Park

Protect the Parks

If your career is in Parks and Recreation, then you are most likely familiar with the NRPA Americans’ Engagement with Parks Survey which was released earlier this year.  The highlights suggest people enjoy the parks and want other people to enjoy the parks as well.  Having a park in the community is important to 9 out of 10 people.

 

The 2016 October NRPA article, Public Park Usage: Motives and Challenges, lists highlights worth noting.  Most of the key points focus on how often people visit the park and why.  Looking at the graph,  58% of the park users came to be with friends and family, and 52% visited to engage in some type of physical activity.  This may come as a surprise, but 3/4 of the people surveyed want more money spent on parks and recreation. Clearly, parks are important to people.  Parks increase the enjoyment of life and maybe even possibly the quality of life, which should be available to all people.

 

Unfortunately, some parks are targeted with graffiti and vandalism.  This causes concern for people who visit the park and the surrounding neighborhood.  Graffiti and vandalism bring down the enjoyment because it defaces the beauty of the park, but it also causes fear.  Parks that bear the burden of graffiti and vandalism lack the presence of security, which causes the park to no longer feel safe. In the same article mentioned above, personal safety was reported as a barrier to 17% of the people surveyed.  That means these people are not able to enjoy the park because of fears that they or the people they care about are not safe at the park.

 

Since parks are an important part of  quality life, it should be important to officials to safe guard the use of the parks for all communities and protect those who use them.  What are you doing to protect the parks?

Playground

Stop Park Vandalism

It is hard to believe that in this generation with all the education on protecting the environment and recycling that the graffiti problem and leaving trash at public parks even exists.  According to the Saint George News, Hurricane, jumping rocks located in Sand Hollow State Park, had to be closed for clean up due to accumulated trash and graffiti.  Sand Hollow State Park is a beautiful park with large rock and sandstone formations that are part of the Sand Hollow Reservoir.  The Sandstone formations are beautiful natural art pieces that sit on the water’s edge. The assistant park manager, Darren Tucker, indicated the area is being “marred by littering, graffiti, things being thrown into the water even.”   It is hard to believe this happened. Who would mar this beautiful area?

And yet,  today more and more of our National Parks are getting tagged and marred. If our society is to leave a better world for the next generation, we need to do more than clean up after the fact.  Cleaning the graffiti introduces chemicals to the area which affects the air quality and the water, due to run off.  The chemicals could also enter and contaminate the in-ground water.  As the left behind trash sits in the sun, chemicals are released.  Our society needs to do better.

As a society what can we do? The Los Angeles Police Department has listed several ways an individual can help their community. Several to note are education, clean up, reporting and protecting. As most offenders are young, the LAPD encourages the public to volunteer in areas that educate the young that vandalism, which includes graffiti and illegal trash dumping, is a crime.  Volunteering also encourages the young to use their time for valuable moments rather than doing something that is hurtful to the community.  It is important we make our parks a priority.  What are some ways you can help stop graffiti and vandalism in our parks?

Stop Crime

Milder Winter Calls for Proactive Graffiti Prevention Strategies

There could be more than presents and eggnog showing up this Christmas season. Crime could be on the rise compared to previous winters, with this milder weather ahead of us. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the winter of 2015-2016 is predicted to be warmer due to the current El Niño weather pattern. Many people in the Northeast regions are even unlikely to have a white Christmas.

This predicted warmer winter means people will be more active outdoors compared to previous winters. This overall increased activity will unfortunately also include unwanted nuisance crimes such as gang activity or graffiti vandalism.  There seems to be a consistent trend that indicates warmer weather leads to higher crime rates.  With the possibility of this increase in criminal activity, cities should continue to take proactive graffiti prevention measures even during the winter months.

We’ve seen record low temperatures and heavy snowfall in many regions these past recent winters, where cities were experiencing reduced overall activity during these colder months, including graffiti vandalism.  Cities work in cycles and during this time of the year, police departments typically alter their policing strategies for winter predictions when “law-breaking slows when it’s cold, and picks up as the temperature rises.” However, this winter these strategies should be reevaluated and implement more proactive graffiti prevention plans since crime may increase compared to previous years.