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.


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.


For some tips on preventing and removing graffiti check out

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


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