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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.

How to Deter Vandalism in Park Restrooms

How to Deter Vandalism in Park Restrooms

Vandalism in Park Restrooms is a prevalent problem. Unfortunately, public restrooms are often the focus of many vandals, who are intent on committing defacement.  Restrooms become the target because they are usually placed away from public traffic and isolated.  Due largely in part to the low risk of being caught, graffiti on the walls and damage to toilets and the restroom facility hardware are among the objects most commonly affected.

 

Due to safety reasons, many parks close vandalized restrooms in order to avoid injury and facilitate repairs. Park Rangers know closed restrooms can cause a feeling of frustration by park patrons who may need to use the restroom area. The best option is deterrence.  Stop the Vandalism before it happens.

 

Here are some deterrent highlights to implement:

 

  1. Lighting– Secure the area with bright lights. Bright lights are a vandal’s worst enemy. Lighting installed in areas that may otherwise be dark does well to help prevent acts of vandalism from occurring.
  2. Unbreakable Fixtures and Hardware– Apply security glass over light fixtures and hard to break accessories in the restroom.
  3. Locks and Fencing- Install locks and fencing. Well strategized locks and fencing eliminates a vandal’s ability to enter the restroom after the park has closed.
  4. Vandalism Deterrent Cameras– Properly placed Vandalism Deterrent Cameras near problem areas combined with signs informing the public of their use has been proven to prevent acts of vandalism. Vandalism Deterrent Cameras- Talk, shine a bright light, take pictures for prosecution and make their presence known. Behavior modification at its best.

 

Applying these steps will protect public bathrooms and save frustrations and funds from ongoing repairs.

 

 

Public water

Protect Public Water Facilities from Vandalism

If water storage chambers, pumps, or valves are vandalized, even if it is a childish prank, it is an act that compromises the water treatment facility.  To ensure the safety of the public, The Department of Public Works will need to sanitize the water and pass the water inspections of State and Federal standards, because vandalizing or any outside contact with the water treatment process may cause an imbalance in the treatment facility’s bionetwork.

The cost involved in bringing back the integrity of the water in the storage chambers involves treating the water a second time with the entire treatment process, in order to sanitize it.  Water reservation and services are supposed to be kept as cheap as possible, however, when the water storage is disturbed by outside contaminates from vandalism, this causes the Water Department to raise their budget in order to sanitize the polluted water.

It is mandatory, therefore, to maintain the efficiency of water equipment in prestige condition.  The Water Utility Operations must guard the equipment from corrosion, and protect its infrastructure of the water facilities.  A damaged water-treatment system compromises the water of the entire community, causing public schools and other organizations to shut down until the water system is repaired and properly treated.

Preventing vandalism within water department perimeters is essential. Some water treatment plants have installed walls and gates with barbed wire to deter trespassing.  However, persistent vandals overcome these barriers, therefore other deterrents are required. Other tools to consider are crime deterrent cameras using a motion sensor that will illuminate the area approached and will capture and help identify the trespassers.   Since crime deterrent cameras are self-contained and require no electricity, they can be placed in even the most remote areas of the water treatment plant.

The public water system is a process that is important to protect, and it is essential to guard its equipment from vandals.  Ensuring the entire community is drinking safe water cannot be compromised.  Protect the water treatment plant and use as many resources as possible to prevent vandalism.

Graffiti on metro

Vandalism- A Community Crisis

Witnessing an act of vandalism can trigger anger in even the most gentle citizens, and it can leave a lasting effect. Why?  Because, vandalism suggests gang activity in the area, makes people feel victimized, and causes economic hardships for the community.

 

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the purpose of gang graffiti is to glorify the gang. And in the same article, the police state violence is associated with gang graffiti, because an entire neighborhood will be associated with the gang graffiti, making them a target for rival gangs.  Vandalism in the form of graffiti is used by gangs and can spread rapidly in gang-controlled areas. These areas become something similar to a public message board displayed in high-traffic areas. And the problem grows rapidly out of control if not corrected quickly.

 

Graffiti vandalism can also make people feel unsafe. In a survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics 1 in 5 Australians perceive  graffiti to be a social disorder problem in their local community.  The idea that destruction of property and graffiti are social disorders leads the minds of citizens to think incivility within a community.  This raises concerns that there will be an occurrence of a more serious crime, and that the area is not safe. If the community withdraws in fear, social controls which can keep vandals at bay are weakened.

 

The obvious financial cost associated with clean up also takes a toll on the community.  According to the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing (POP Center), it is estimated that the cost to clean up graffiti in the United States is $12 billion a year. Tax funds are used to pay for damage repair caused by vandals on city owned property. A community can suffer neglect if these tax funds are not used for their intended purpose. Schools, parks, and public transportation all suffer when an act of destruction is committed on city property. The list goes on and on.

 

Actions to stop the destruction of property,  curtailing the gang activity, taking control and protecting our communities, must be taken before serious crimes take over the city. We have a responsibility to stop the broken windows and graffiti in our community. Be a part of the solution and learn about the preventative measures you can take against vandalism.