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Park Vandalism Affects our Community

Park Vandalism Affects our Community

Our community’s public parks were built in order to bring recreation and joy to all who patronize them. Why certain individuals decide to vandalize these wonderful places, we may never fully know. Whether it’s to blow off steam or mindless boredom, the fact remains that our parks are easily accessible to the public, and as such, will continue to be a likely target for would-be vandals. What these vandals obviously do not take into consideration, however, is the toll the consequences of their actions have on the community that enjoys visiting these beautiful places.

In addition to the physical dangers vandalism incurs at our parks, the emotional distress that park patrons suffer upon learning they are victims of this heinous crime is also of serious concern. “The impact of vandalism, as well as other related crime, on victims results in emotional, psychological, physical, financial, social, and spiritual consequences” (National Institute of Mental Health, 2006). Children who frequent parks are inspired to develop their creative imagination and social bonds when they are engaged in what’s known as “free play”. In the event of park closure due to an act of vandalism, children are deprived of this emotional development which can lead to complications such as depression and anxiety in social situations. A child may not fully comprehend how or why someone has vandalized their play area, leading to acting out anger episodes and fits.

When a Virginia Beach park’s playground equipment was vandalized with derogatory sayings in January of 2015, children who had regularly enjoyed the park were visibly upset by the act. Izabella Garcia told ABC news, “It makes me feel uncomfortable to be on the swings and look at what they wrote. It just makes me feel like I shouldn’t be there.” Izabella mentioned that it makes her not want to play there anymore, which shows firsthand the distress vandalism causes to children.

Parks that suffer from recurrent vandalism may be perceived by community members that neighborhood crime is on the rise, causing fear, mistrust, and anxiety towards other residents. This type of personal isolation leaves a community more susceptible and vulnerable to further crime and acts of violence. Forcing the neighborhood in which one lives down a dark road of crime and urban decay. 

It is important the parks departments deter these nuisance crimes to prevent the emotional distress these crimes cause the community.

Prevent Vandalism at Water Treatment Centers

Prevent Vandalism at Water Treatment Centers

The United States supplies its citizens with some of the safest drinking water in the world. Though many of us take this necessity for granted, many countries throughout the world do not have access to safe, uncontaminated drinking water. Much of the U.S. safe water supply is due to the implementation and operation of its water treatment centers.

Sources for drinking water are often subject to contamination by disease-causing microbes. These waterborne microbes, such as E. coli and Cryptosporidium, have the ability to cause debilitating sickness and disease. U.S. water treatment centers use a variety of different methods of water treatment processes to remove these types of dangerous pathogens in order to provide communities with safe drinking water.

Water treatment centers are starting to become a target for many would-be vandals who may be looking for a new swimming hole or to damage expensive equipment. Although vandalism is commonplace virtually everywhere, it exists as a very serious, potentially disastrous threat to a community’s water supply. Vandalized water treatment centers can easily lead to water contamination by means of damaged treatment hardware, rendering the purification process incomplete, thereby exposing the public to potential health threats.

Metal thieves, who often steal copper wire and other copper-containing equipment for profit, have been known to target remote utility centers searching for scrap materials. In addition to contaminating water supplies, the damage sustained by these thieves can end up costing millions of dollars in repairs.

Trying to prevent acts of vandalism at water treatment centers is difficult due to their often isolated placement. Water storage tanks are also maintained on rural hillsides in order to supply water pressure to the communities below. With little civilian oversight to deter vandals from trespassing and potentially damaging expensive equipment, there is little chance the suspect would be caught. Vandalism Cameras are necessary to protect the community’s source of drinking water.

Protect Parks from Vandalism

Protect Parks from Vandalism

With Valentine’s Day here, what better way to spend the day than to love and protect our parks?

Acts of vandalism can wreak havoc on the aesthetic loveliness of our parks, costing previously allocated budgets, such as regular maintenance, to be cut to cover the cost of repairs. Without proper routine maintenance due to budget cuts, parks can start to look neglected by lack of care. Park closure is also often the result of occurrences of mindless vandalism while repairs are being undertaken.

The detrimental effects of vandalism imposed on our parks can also be irreparable and devastating. Natural rock formations and the fragile ecosystems of our most treasured national parks can be ruined indefinitely by damage wrought by an act of vandalism. Vandalism of this type can ruin the park experience for many generations to come.

February 14th is a special day for many people in many countries, as this date is reserved and dedicated to be the feast day of Saint Valentine. After gaining popularity throughout Europe in the 14th century, Valentine’s Day has come to be known as a celebration of love and affection.

Parks can be a relaxing and romantic place to visit with our loved ones on this special day.  Therefore, it is important that we maintain the natural beauty of our parks. Taking pride in caring for our parks is also a good means for celebrating, year-round, the ideals that Valentine’s Day stands for.

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, what better way to honor the celebration of love and affection than by loving and caring for our parks by preventing acts of vandalism?

Social Media: Weapon to Combat Vandalism

Social Media: Weapon to Combat Vandalism

How can Social Media help combat Vandalism?  This is a good question. According to Wikipedia, Social Media is defined as “interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas…”

Unfortunately, the crime of vandalism is an all too common occurrence. It seems to happen everywhere including our schools, public parks, and in our own communities. When vandalism is committed, it is most often done late at night when there is less likelihood that the suspect, or suspects, will be seen or caught. Because little, if any, evidence is left behind, suspect leads are rarely ever followed up and communities are left holding the bill for the damages caused by vandalism.

Vandalism is a crime that’s cumulative. If an area that has been hit by vandalism is not quickly repaired or cleaned, further recurrences of vandalism are more likely to befall the same area. The only means of stopping vandalism completely, is by preventing its occurrence in the first place.

Today, many municipalities are turning to technology and the use of social media sites, such as Next-Door and Facebook, to educate the rest of the public when acts of vandalism occur. Pictures of recently vandalized neighborhoods are posted on social media sites in an effort to gather information from the public. Local law enforcement authorities use these photos as well as the information provided by the public as evidence, while vigilantly seeking out and successfully prosecuting those individuals suspected of committing acts of vandalism.

Photos of suspects taken by specialized vandalism cameras are used in conjunction with social media to identify suspects and to capture footage of the act to be used as evidence in prosecution cases brought before the court. This use of technology also fills the gap as a preventative measure when the public is informed by social media sites that vandalism cameras are being used.

This coordination of technology and social media is quickly becoming the first line of defense in combating vandalism, as it helps protect our communities as well as our individual well-being.

Social Media is effective because information of the vandalism occurrence and the pictures of the suspect are shared with the community very quickly.  Because the citizens care about their community, information is then shared quickly with the authorities who follow through with prosecution.

Social Media in use with specialized vandalism cameras is a great weapon to combat vandalism in your community.