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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.

 

Cost of Vandalism

Cost of Vandalism

What is vandalism?  According to Securipedia.eu, VANDALISM is the criminal act of willfully destroying or defacing property. According to an article in the Chron, the U.S. Small Business Administration states a single incident of vandalism costs on average $3,370.  Besides the business suffering, a possible consequence of  vandalism to the consumer is the increased cost of goods.  If you think about it, loss does not happen in a vacuum.  Eventually to stay in business, businesses will have to raise their prices to cover the cost of painting over graffiti or buying a security camera. According to the same article,  another unwanted consequence is the lack of jobs, goods and services, because any new business will think twice before they invest in an area where there are signs of vandalism or graffiti crime.

 

Besides the dollar amounts, vandalism can create another cost.  This second cost is more lasting as it affects the social well being of the entire neighborhood. An obvious example of this impact is vandalism creates a less than appealing neighborhood, which could cause a reduction in the value of the houses. Evidence of destruction of property certainly decreases the appeal, enjoyment and pleasure of the communities where people live and work. Unfortunately, cleaning up an area of destruction and graffiti is very difficult, as the neighborhood becomes a target and is hit again after the clean up.

 

Law enforcement experts dealing with nuisance crimes on a daily basis are quick to point out that vandalism is a true gateway crime. According to “Into the Abyss: A Personal Journey into the World of Street Gangs”,  Gangs use graffiti to communicate to each other threats, territory and even murder targets.  The marking of territory and the sending of messages indicates some type of organized crime.   Law officers understand this and the effects these crimes have on the community and how this problem can lead to more serious crimes.  Unfortunately,  most communities do not have the resources to deter and apprehend the perpetrators of  nuisance crimes.

Park with trees

Show Your Parks Some Extra Love – Prevent Vandalism

It’s Parks and Rec month.  Let’s celebrate all the joy these parks bring to our communities!  We all know how much Parks and Recreation committees lo♥e what they do.  And we know how important it is to have a good image of our parks and recreational facilities.  A park image that is presentable to the community promotes opportunity and keeps its users happy. Keeping the parks and rec areas clean and safe from vandalism and trespassing, is a big part of that image.

Rules are another way to lo♥e our parks.  Having rules for parks and recreational centers creates a secure environment.  If parks and recreation agencies develop and adopt enforceable standards and guidelines for the land and facilities related to their use, there is less opportunity for mischief.   Although most parks have  certain set hours of when the park and rec center is open to the public, it can be hard to enforce. But monitoring and enforcing is another way to love your parks.  Give a presentable image by monitoring the vandalism and trespassing concern areas of the property and facilities and enforce when rules are broken.

Give your parks extra lo♥e this month by expanding a secure area for its users, and deterring nuisances—such as trespassing after hours, vandalism, and gang activity.  Deterring vandalism helps the overall image of the parks by forming a clean, safe atmosphere.  Protect your parks and activity centers and prevent rules from being broken by installing a means of crime deterrent.  Set up a visible camera system to mandate that the rules are being followed, even while you aren’t watching.

Investigate, study and recommend these needed improvements this month to your city council to deter the vandalism and trespassing concerns. According to the study done by the National Recreation and Park Association, by creating safe park environments, you enhance community wellness.  When the community is happy, it makes the operations of the Parks Department more efficient and effective.  It will pay off because your community will end up lo♥ing your parks and rec centers just as much as you already do.  Now that’s something to celebrate!

Grave

Cemetery Vandalism

Coming to the cemetery to celebrate the life of a loved one is an emotional experience.  Imagine the impact of seeing the tombstone vandalized and defiled! The disturbance can cause trauma to the most stable of persons.

Cemeteries should be a place of peace and tranquility. Most people think of cemeteries as sacred land, a quiet place to re-visit memories of loved ones who are no longer physically with us. This should be protected ground where loved ones can be honored.  Unfortunately, not all people respect the sacred ground of those who lived.

There are reports of some people who have desecrated the grave sites by pushing down grave stones, causing them to break.  Some reports show graffiti markings.  According to a news article in the New York Post, cemetery vandalism increased by 306 percent from last year. This is a very sad problem.  This kind of vandalism hurts, which can cause emotional turmoil.

According to the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA), any cemetery can be a target of this deliberate act of vandalism.  The ICCFA says most of these acts of vandalism are caused by youths.  The Ecclesiastical lists cameras, posted signs, perimeter fencing, locked gates, well lit grounds, spot checks and reporting as possible deterrents. Whatever the tactic, it is important to protect the cemetery from hooligans and hate crime vandals.