Vandalism/Graffiti Prevention Look around your community. Do you see…
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:
Graffiti is often the first sign that gangs are taking over a neighborhood. Gangs use graffiti as their street “telegraph,” sending messages about turf and advertising their exploits. Graffiti identifies territorial boundaries, lists members, and communicates with rival gangs. The gang says “This place belongs to us.”
A community’s first step in taking back its streets from gangs is getting rid of graffiti immediately. This power struggle can’t be won overnight, but persistent communities working in partnership with law enforcement almost always emerge as victors. Once the graffiti is gone, use landscape designs (such as prickly shrubs or closely planted hedges), building materials (such as hard-to-mark surfaces), lighting, or fences to discourage vandalism.
You Can Help Prevent Vandalism
Take a Stand!