What is vandalism?
Vandalism is defined as being the intentional destruction, defacement, or damage of a person’s property, without the permission of the owner. There is one thing that is confirmed by this definition, and that is that vandalism is not a passive act, but instead, one that is done deliberately!
Vandalism is something extremely unpleasant that happens to most property owners at some point in time. These malicious acts by uncouth individuals can’t be stopped completely, but there are certainly several things that you can do that are effective in deterring them!
Why do some people enjoy vandalising property?
These unscrupulous individuals have a variety of agendas. Some of them, especially the younger ones, do it out of pure boredom, others because they are angry with the owner or simply have a chip on their shoulder. Then again, there are those that vandalise while they are committing a burglary.
Irrespective of the reason though, the bottom line is that vandalism creates unnecessary work for the property owner, and gives tenants a feeling of being unsafe in their homes.
Most of the time, vandals are under the impression that they won’t get caught, which usually means that the property is not fully protected, easily accessible, or in some cases even, dirty, and disorganised. In short, if the opportunity is there, vandals will grab it and act accordingly!
What can I do to protect my property from vandals?
There are several effective ways to protect your property from vandals, including the following:
See your property through the eyes of a vandal – take a good look at your property from all angles, and find those areas where vandals could strike. Who is usually found in that area, does your business have political or some kind of controversial connections? Other things to consider would be poorly lit areas, unlocked entrance doors, unprotected equipment, and blank walls, all of which are basically begging to be vandalised!
Make it obvious that your property is protected – do whatever it takes to show vandals that you will NOT let them simply walk in and damage your property!
Install emergency phones, non-breakable glass windows, strobe lights, video cameras, gates, ID access cards, landscaping that includes so much lighting, that it makes it look like daytime in your garden 24/7!! Vandals don’t want to be caught in the act, so all these things will make them think twice before trying to damage your property.
Don’t let them think that you’re away – keep the outside area of your home clear by having your rubbish collected regularly, and don’t let your mail build up in your post box. These things will make vandals think you are not there and are an invitation for them to vandalise your property!
Remove the vandal’s work immediately! – the majority of vandals want their work to be on display for the world to see, but don’t let this happen. Get rid of the damage as soon as you can, and if you have tenants, tell them what has happened, as well as the steps you are going to take to prevent it from happening again. Your quick response will show vandals and those thinking about making it a career, that you will not tolerate their disturbing creativity!
If your property has been vandalised – report it to the police! – irrespective of whether it is a small or large act of vandalism, it is a crime that has been committed and should be reported to the police. The police need to have it on record that vandalism was committed in your area, which will encourage them to send an extra patrol around to keep an eye on your and other property in your area. This will not only deter vandals but will also create a safer environment in your neighbourhood. Find out from your local police station if they have a hotline available to report incidents of vandalism.
Make vandalism a part of your action plan for emergencies – like most other property owners, you also more than likely think of natural disasters when it comes to action plans for emergencies, without any thought of vandalism. However, vandalism should also be treated as an emergency, and acted upon quickly, to resolve it as soon as possible!
Use the above tips to protect your property from vandals. Be prepared and stop vandals in their tracks!