Design facilities to deter vandalism

It can cost a lot to repair or replace vandalized property. By planning for potential damage in advance, you can prevent it or make recovery easier. Consult a professional and use mark-resistant, scratch-resistant, and non-corrodible materials that suit the facility you’re building. Hide fastenings and pipes, and try to avoid using projecting or easily removable parts.

Design areas so they’re in view of the general public and security staff, and design public washrooms with spray taps and drains. Place walkways away from the building’s exterior if possible, to keep passersby at a distance. Install street fixtures--like lamp posts, signs, and bus shelters--that resist damage and are easy to repair.

Don’t forget to perform regular maintenance. Vandalism can encourage a downward spiral of more damage, so make it clear that any destruction or defacing will immediately go back to its original state.

Engage the community to help prevent vandalism

Partnering with the community and building trust can minimize vandalism. An awareness program can teach the public that property damage is harmful and shows them how it affects their neighborhoods. Youth outreach and recreational programs keep young people active and involved, and deters them from participating in vandalism. Paint murals on areas vulnerable to graffiti, and consider holding contests. Public art can stimulate tourism and build community, and is much nicer to look at than tags, scribbles and profanity.

Give citizens a simple way to report vandalism on their property, whether it’s a contact person, a hotline, or an online form. The sooner they can provide a location and description, photos and contact information, and if the vandalism is located on public or private property, the sooner they can feel comfortable.

Encourage your community to clean up their private property, but provide compensation if possible. Municipal workers should take care of public property within 72 hours, since damage can attract more vandalism.

Trends can speak volumes. If you notice consistencies or repetition in certain areas, you might need to increase security or add better lighting. However you deal with vandalism, your community will feel protected if you act quickly and with their best interest in mind.

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