Vandalism is a lot more common than you might think, and it’s all too easy for it to happen, even in your own home. Petty crimes like defacing property can be devastating for the victim, and they don’t always come with an easy solution! However, if you know what to watch out for – and how to avoid it – then you can go a long way toward stopping vandalism in its tracks.
What are the common causes of vandalism?
There’s a very good chance that you’re familiar with the effects of vandalism, but you may be surprised at how often it happens. There are a variety of causes, and they run the gamut from teenage angst to simple boredom. Understanding the causes of vandalism may provide an insight into how you can prevent vandalism in your neighborhood.
Some of the most common include:
An Effort to Stand Out
When young people (typically teenagers) try to carve out an identity for themselves, they may be inclined to make a statement about their views by defacing property. In some cases, this can be coupled with a misguided sense of religious or political activism.
It’s not just teens who can get bored. Adults and children alike can have a momentary lapse of judgment where the urge to create something gets out of control. If they’re not careful, they can quickly find themselves with a hefty fine or even a criminal charge.
As teens try to navigate that difficult path from childhood to adulthood, they are looking for an identity. Unfortunately, this can lead to groups acting in destructive ways, including committing petty acts of vandalism. While most law-abiding teens won’t even consider such acts, it only takes one or two to make the whole group look bad.
Thrill of destruction
Sometimes, people just want to watch the world burn. Whether they’re disaffected by their lack of success in life, or they have some personal vendetta against your home or business, they will go to great lengths to destroy your property. This can be difficult to prevent and even more difficult to prosecute!
Some of the most common causes of vandalism are purely criminal in nature. Teenagers tend to be the most likely to engage in vandalism as a means of venting their frustration. It’s important to remember that if you suspect that a teenager is engaging in criminal activity like graffiti, vandalism, or theft, then it’s best not to approach the child alone. Instead, make sure you enlist the help of law enforcement officials to investigate.
For the most part, fear is at the heart of vandalism. Fear may be coupled with a sense of power or frustration, but it’s important to remember that criminals are rarely rational.
Vandalism can be a frustrating crime to experience, whether it’s your own property that’s been defaced, or you’ve caught someone in the act. However, knowing what to watch out for and how to prevent vandalism can give you a chance to protect yourself against destruction caused by young people who are angry or unsupervised.