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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?

Keeping Parks Safe and Vandalism Free

Keeping Parks Safe and Vandalism Free

With many schools’ winter-break vacation coming up, it is important for children to have safe vandalism free park activities that keep them occupied while out of school. For parents, it’s also important that they know their children are safe while they’re at work or running daily errands. These out of school programs are offered and take place at many public park and recreation centers throughout the United States.

A parent’s concern for the well-being of their children while these activities are taking place is often their “number one” priority.

It is of extreme importance, then, that the environment in which these programs are run is considered a safe environment. Vandalized play equipment and graffiti both create a physical and emotional hazard that can harm children enrolled in these programs. Destruction of playground equipment can easily harbor unseen, potential threats to child safety, while graffiti creates an atmosphere of criminal gang activity that can lead to further instances of vandalism. Graffiti can also lead to a child’s perception that their park is unsafe and that no one seems to care about their well-being. These emotions can cause depression and anxiety for the children that experience these types of destructive behavior occurring in their parks.

With the well-being of children in mind, we need to give them the gift of safety this holiday season and ensure the continuance of these out of school programs for all to enjoy and feel safe.

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.

 

 

The High Cost of Vandalism

The High Cost of Vandalism

With a population of about 1-4 million citizens, the larger cities are the home to a diverse array of vandalism crimes. A city’s sprawling square-mileage features suburban neighborhoods, cosmopolitan-style downtown living, as well as industrial and factory-based businesses. Of all the crimes that cities experience, the only one that pervades all areas of the city is that of vandalism.

 

While the term vandalism is defined in Wikipedia as “the deliberate, malicious destruction or damage of public or private property”, the crime of vandalism can be broken down into different categories. Graffiti and defacement, window-breaking, and even arson all find themselves under the umbrella term of vandalism, with graffiti often being the most prevalent form of the crime.

 

Because of the high cost associated with an act of vandalism, many people consider vandalism to be one of the most expensive problems cities have to deal with. Los Angeles alone spends roughly $7 million annually on graffiti removal and prevention, while the overall cost of vandalism for the city’s taxpayers is much higher. These figures, however, do not include the cost of damages caused by vandalism on private property, which business and property owners must pay out of their own pocket to repair.

 

Damage caused by criminal acts, like scrap metal theft, are another prominent form of vandalism. City-owned utility properties, such as electricity distribution centers, can cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace damaged and stolen equipment by a thief’s intent on making a couple of bucks.

 

With such a high cost associated with any act of vandalism, the price of such a crime is placed on the citizens of the community in which it takes place. As most of the budgets for a large city are already heavily constrained, money spent to repair damages caused by vandalism would be beneficial to other, more productive, city-run programs.