Vandalism 101

Posted by Samantha Dutcher on Nov 15, 2010 4:34:00 PM

What Is Vandalism?

The intentional destruction of property is popularly referred to as vandalism. It includes behavior such as breaking windows, slashing tires, spray painting a wall with graffiti, and destroying a computer system through the use of a computer virus. Vandalism is a malicious act and may reflect personal ill will, although the perpetrators need not know their victim to commit vandalism. The recklessness of the act imputes both intent and malice.

Because the destruction of public and private property poses a threat to society, modern statutes make vandalism a crime. The penalties upon conviction may be a fine, a jail sentence, an order to pay for repairs or replacement, or all three. In addition, a person who commits vandalism may be sued in a civil tort action for damages so that the damaged property can be repaired or replaced.

The peak period for committing relatively minor property crimes is between the ages of fifteen and twenty-one. In the United States adolescent vandalism, including the wanton destruction of schools, causes millions of dollars of damage each year. Apprehending vandals is often difficult, and the costs of repairing the damage are passed on to taxpayers, private property owners, and insurance companies. Some states hold parents financially responsible for vandalism committed by their minor children, up to specified limits. These statutes are designed to encourage parental supervision and to shift part of the cost of vandalism from the public to the individuals who are best able to supervise the children who destroyed the property.

From the Free Online Law Dictionary

Vandalism In The News:

Students at a North Texas elementary school got an unexpected holiday Wednesday, November 10, after vandals broke into their school and caused so much damage, administrators were forced to cancel classes.

Workers at Plummer Elementary in Cedar Hill ISD arrived this morning to find windows smashed, computers strewn on the front lawn, phone and power lines cut, and equipment stolen.

The damage is so extensive, school officials aren't sure when classes will resume. A decision will be made today whether Thursday classes will be held somewhere else.

At this point, police have no suspects in the crime, but are investigating.

From myfoxdfw.com

Vandalism Prevention Tips:

1. Use good lighting in and around your business. This ensures that potential vandals are more visible and increases their chances of getting caught.

2. Use unbreakable fixtures or glass when possible.  This reduces a person's opportunities to vandalize.

3. Lock any gates, garages and external doors around your business to prevent unauthorized access. Also lock up any equipment or tools that may be easy targets for vandals.

4. Clean up any signs of vandalism as soon as they appear. This may involve repairing broken or damaged signs or equipment.

5. If you see someone committing an act of vandalism, report it to the police.

From crimeprevention.rutgers.com

For some tips on preventing and removing graffiti check out http://www.sandiego.gov/police/prevention/graffiti.shtml

For information on how Securitas Mobile can help prevent vandalism on your properties contact us at mobileservices@securitasinc.com or 877-686-0822

 

Tags: new service, vandalism, preventions, Security, safety tips

Tips for Terrorism Security

Posted by Samantha Dutcher on Nov 8, 2010 5:23:00 PM

Taken from November 2010 Security Spotlight Newsletter

Terrorism Targets

Terrorism is the use of force or violence against persons or property in violation of the criminal laws of the United States for purposes of intimidation, coercion, or ransom. Terrorists often use threats to:

  • Create fear among the public
  • Try to convince citizens that their government is powerless to prevent terrorism
  • Get immediate publicity for their causes Acts of terrorism include threats of terrorism; assassinations; hijackings; bomb scares and bombings; cyber attacks (computer-based); and the use of chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological weapons. High-risk targets for acts of terrorism include military and civilian government facilities, international airports, large cities, and high-profile landmarks. Terrorists might also target large public gatherings, water and food supplies, chemical plants, utilities, and corporate centers. Further, terrorists are capable of spreading fear by sending explosives or chemical and biological agents through the mail.

Homeland Security Begins With Hometown Security

The Justice Department recently launched the Nationwide SAR (Suspicious Activity Reporting) Initiative—NSI—a program that sets up “fusion centers” where reports of suspicious activities made by citizens and local police are collected and analyzed. NSI establishes a uniform process for gathering and sharing information among federal, state, local and tribal agencies with the aim of detecting underlying patterns of “precursor conduct”—activities that may signal a potential terrorist attack. The public plays a large part in the NSI program. Authorities are depending upon ordinary citizens to provide the dots to connect. As Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano put it, “Homeland security begins with hometown security.” But what exactly should the public be looking for?

See Something, Say Something

Certain kinds of activities can indicate terrorist plans are in the works, especially when they occur at or near high-profile sites or places where large numbers of people gather. The FBI urges citizens to keep an eye out for such precursor conduct—like that listed below—and to report it immediately.

Surveillance: Are you aware of anyone recording or monitoring activities, taking notes, using cameras, maps, binoculars or other observation equipment near a key facility? Deploying Assets: Have you observed abandoned vehicles, stockpiling of suspicious materials, or persons being deployed near a key facility?

Suspicious Persons: Are you aware of anyone who does not appear to belong in the workplace, neighborhood, business establishment, or near a key facility?

Suspicious Questioning: Are you aware of anyone attempting to gain information in person, by phone, mail, email or other communication method regarding a key facility or its personnel?

Acquiring Supplies: Are you aware of anyone attempting to improperly acquire explosives, weapons, ammunitions, dangerous chemicals, uniforms, badges, flight manuals, access cards or identification for a key facility, or to legally obtain items under suspicious circumstances that could be used in a terrorist act?

Dry Runs: Have you observed any behavior that appears to be preparation for terrorist activity, such as mapping out routes, playing out scenarios with other people, monitoring key facilities, timing traffic lights or traffic flow, or other suspicious activities?

Tests of Security: Are you aware of any attempts to penetrate or test physical security or procedures at a key facility or event? Recognizing and reporting precursor intelligence-gathering activities can interrupt potential terrorist events, crimes and other threats before they occur. While on the job, security officers should follow post orders for reporting suspicious activity. Otherwise, the FBI encourages citizens to contact local police, the FBI or the nearest Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) to report suspicious activity or behavior. If there is an emergency or immediate threat, call 911.

For more information on the NSI program go to http://nsi.ncirc.gov/.

For additional resources on detecting and reporting indicators of terrorist attacks, and for guidelines on preparedness and response to terrorism threats, visit
www.fbi.gov
www.dhs.gov
www.fema.gov/pdf/areyouready/terrorism.pdf

Tags: terrorism, blogging, Security, safety tips