Vandalism Prevention: Look around Linden. Do you see...
- Walls covered with graffiti
- Knocked-over trashcans or mailboxes
- Broken street lights
- Spray paint on stop signs
- Broken public telephones
- Missing street and traffic signs
- Writing or torn pages in library books
- Public restrooms with broken doors and graffiti
Schools pay out millions of dollars each year to clean up graffiti, repair buildings, or replace vandalized equipment. That means less money for new books, computers, sports equipment, and student activities.
Local governments (and their taxpayers) pay the bills for broken street lights, stolen signs, and vandalized parks.
Businesses pass the costs of vandalism on to customers through higher prices.
People feel angry, sad, and frightened when something of theirs -- a mailbox, a garden, a car antenna -- is destroyed for no reason.
Vandalism indirectly claims other victims -- a child is injured because a stop sign was stolen, a person can't reach 9-1-1 because the public phone is broken.
Who and Why
Most vandals are young people -- from grade schoolers to teens to young adults -- who damage property for one or more of the following reasons:
You Can Help Prevent Vandalism
- Educate the public, especially young people about the costs of vandalism.
- Clean up vandalism as soon as it happens -- replace signs, repair playground equipment, paint over graffiti.
- If you see anyone committing vandalism, report it to the police, school authorities, or someone who can take action.
- Remember, vandalism is a crime.
- Protect your house or apartment from vandalism by using good lighting and locking gates and garages.
- Support recreational programs for young people in your community. Volunteer your time, donate money or supplies, and help in any way you can.
Take a Stand!
- Tap into the energy and idealism of youth. Involve young people in all vandalism prevention efforts.
- Work with Neighborhood Watch and ask the City or a local business for cleaning supplies and paint.
- Work with schools or the arts community to paint murals on areas that are vulnerable to graffiti. Make it a contest for teens.
- Adopt a street or park, perhaps in cooperation with a church or business. Plant trees, bushes, and flowers. Repair equipment and install trash containers. Organize a monthly park patrol to clean up litter and keep an eye on things.
Make certain that City or town officials promptly remove abandoned cars.