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Vandalism Lowers Property Values

Community

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 the 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. Preventing vandalism benefits communities immensely, by removing this catalyst crime.

How to Protect the Park

How to Protect the Park

In an age of COVID-19, people are more separated than ever. People no longer feel comfortable with even crossing the street to greet their neighbors, let alone offer a friendly handshake. Never before has the thought of engaging in a friendly interaction been considered to be irresponsible or dangerous, but that is the reality we live with now. People no longer feel that they are allowed start relationships with their neighbors. When everyone in a community is an island, everyone will be vulnerable to crime and disaster because they will lack the support system which is usually present in a community.

The one thing which can help turn the tide in this isolation crisis is the public parks system. Public parks are a place where people can gather outside, free from the fear of contracting COVID-19. As a great leader, Alexander Robertson has begun to utilize parks to reunite and rebuild communities which are suffering from neglect and crime. Using fun, outdoor activities, Robertson is breaking down barriers between neighbors. At parks, communities are able to gather together, become more organized, and have their needs heard and met.

Nevertheless, even small nuisance crimes can threaten to disrupt the life-giving activities of parks. If we want our parks to remain protected, then we need to establish iron-clad deterrence.

Protect your Parks:

  • 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 Crime Deterrent Cameras
  • Clean up all vandalism and graffiti immediately
  • Maintain safety measures for the park and all park equipment

 

When a park utilizes crime deterrent cameras, the park will be protected.

#NoVandalism, #ProtectParks, #Parksandrec, #ParksAndRecreation, #WeAreParksAndRec

 

Park Vandalism Hurts

Park Vandalism Hurts

Park Vandalism Hurts

Did you know one of the first parks built on public lands for public use was between 61 and 55 BCE? The Porticus Pompeiana, one of Ancient Rome’s first public parks was created with pools, fountains and plants of all kinds and was intended to be a space for people to walk, relax and enjoy leisure activities.  Today our public parks are created with the same mindset and to help bring communities and families together. Unfortunately, parks have become the victims of nuisance crimes such as: illegal dumping, theft, and especially vandalism.

Vandalism in the parks can take on many forms such as graffiti and the destruction of public property.  The least costly wreckage is the destruction of signs, but some more costly targets are streetlights, pavilions and public bathrooms, which can be very costly to repair.  Unfortunately, parks are a public attraction for vandalism.

Park Vandals are at times younger people who are bored and looking for mischief.  However, when vandalism occurs in parks, it is highly related to gangs within the community who are responsible for this crime. Gangs use graffiti to tag “their property” and to make rival gangs and the community aware of their “ownership”.  Park Officials who spend many hours in the planning and care for their parks need to take back the parks, because if the destruction either in the form of graffiti or vandalism remains long, it empowers the gangs to further violence.  The community, the intended recipients of the park, then becomes fearful to even walk close to the park.    

What does it mean to take back the park? To take back the park means to show the gangs that the park is not theirs, it is owned by the community.   

How to Prevent Park Vandalism:

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.