It’s unfortunate, but vandalism in all its forms is a common occurrence for business owners, homeowners, and those who frequent public spaces. No matter its extent or severity, vandalism is a crime; however, that still doesn’t stop criminals from defacing and damaging property – and the clean-up and repair job in the aftermath can be challenging, let alone expensive.
But what are the most common types of vandalism, and what can be done to tackle each? Here’s some insight into common types of vandalization, how each can affect a property or community, and, more importantly, what people can do to help prevent this all-too-real problem.
Graffiti is a common form of vandalism that seemingly appears everywhere, from city centers to important historical landmarks (sadly). It comes in the form of spray paint tags, graffiti on buildings and bridges, under road passes and on the highway infrastructure, and even on trains. Youths commonly undertake graffiti, a form of property damage, but it’s also a popular activity among gang members and adult criminals, too.
Although graffiti doesn’t outright harm anybody physically, it does impact the place where it exists. Of course, if a public space or business premises are covered in graffiti, it looks unsightly and unwelcoming. Not only that, though; essentially, it creates an unpleasant feeling that the space isn’t safe, sending a message that troublemakers loiter in this area.
In addition, graffiti can attract more graffiti and even worse if it isn’t dealt with; if vandals see prolific graffiti isn’t cleared up nor prevented, it signals to them that the area doesn’t receive care or policing, which then makes them see the space as a “safe” spot for them to carry out anti-social behavior and illicit activities. The knock-on effect of this problem is that, given time to fester, the town or neighborhood in question can become undesirable, lowering property prices and forcing local businesses to close as people avoid the area.
Naturally, the difficult part is preventing people from creating graffiti in the first place. That said, preventative solutions exist, like putting up deterrents such as visible CCTV, warning signs, fencing and barriers around your property, and installing the mosquito device – a handy noise-emitting tool that only youths and young adults can hear (much to their annoyance). It’s completely legal and harmless but irritates those who can hear it, forcing them to move on to somewhere else (yes, the sound is that annoying!).
Of course, deterrents are effective in most cases, but it’s still a pain to remove graffiti if you discover it on your property or in a public area. It’s possible to remove graffiti yourself, although depending on the extent of the damage and the type of paint used, it’s better to call in professionals to clean it off.
Property damage is another common form of vandalism and can mean anything big or small – from deliberately broken fences and walls to breaking windows, scratching vehicles, and even slashing tires. Sometimes, there’s a reason for the damage – an act of revenge against the victim, for instance. However, in many cases, this act of vandalism is random, seemingly done for fun on the criminal’s part (or perhaps to make a grand statement as a gang member, for example).
Whether it’s minor cosmetic or severe structural damage, property damage is a serious offense – not to mention it can be costly to fix. Whatever the reason or extent of damage, it can even significantly impact the victim’s sense of privacy and safety. The issue of damage to property isn’t merely physical; the owners can suffer from severe stress and anxiety as a result, essentially making them afraid of being in their own homes, places of business, or workplaces.
Much like graffiti, an area rife with visible property damage signals that it’s a green zone for criminals to undertake their shenanigans without fear of repercussions or action from residents or law enforcement. Adding further insult to injury, again, as with prolific graffiti, an area known for being targeted by those who do damage to property eventually becomes undesirable, with home prices dropping and businesses facing closure due to loss of custom. Again, the ideal solution is prevention, with signs, fencing, visible CCTV, and the mosquito device being excellent deterrents.
Defacing & Stealing Signs and Billboards
Vandals often target street signs, road signs, billboards, and even signage on private buildings and business premises. Troublemakers tend to use spray paint, permanent markers, and other materials to make their mark on signage (which kind of constitutes graffiti – but not always).
However, criminals also use other methods to deface signage, such as sharp objects to scratch and carve into signs and billboards. Moreover, vandals are even known to remove signage completely, sometimes even steal them – and if it’s public and road signs, these cost the taxpayer to replace.
Yet again, the consequential effects of damaged and even outright stolen signs and billboards are the same as those stemming from graffiti and property damage; defaced signage sends a message – that an area is unwelcoming, unsafe, and undesirable, a combination that criminals and hopeful troublemakers love. As usual, the deterrents discussed previously can help prevent these issues and help stop a town, neighbourhood, or property from descending into disarray and decline.
How Can You Prevent Vandalism?
Overall, the most common types of vandalism include graffiti, property damage, sign vandalization and theft. Sadly, criminal vandalism is an unfortunate reality in most areas of the world, and business owners, property owners, and governments must deal with it. Still, there are solutions – but prevention is always better than a cure.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent vandalism and reduce the risk of its incidence, such as putting up visible CCTV with warning signs and clear signage that indicates an area is a private property and that no trespassing is allowed. Alongside these preventative methods, one of the easiest options is the mosquito device for vandalism, which, as mentioned, emits a high-frequency sound that’s a nuisance to those under a certain age range.
Arm yourself with the best methods of vandalism prevention, and your property is much less likely to be the victim of would-be troublemakers.