Make Halloween Too Scary for Vandals
With Halloween right around the corner, it is more important than ever to be on guard against criminal activity and vandalism. Vandalism is a problem no matter what time of the year, however, with daylight savings time coming to a close and darkness closing in earlier, it is important to remain vigilant and defend yourself and property from vandalism. Below are some tips to help you deter and defend against vandalism at your site or property.
- Let there be LIGHT – Proper lighting is a vandal’s worst nightmare. Ensuring that your property has adequate lighting is the best defense to deter, discourage and prevent vandalism. It is recommended that you consult with a lighting expert to ensure proper placement and maximum effectiveness for your particular site or property.
- FENCING – Installing fencing around your property is another proactive way to enhance security. A continuous perimeter fence is the first line of defense in a layered security plan and it is a key component in controlling access.
- LOCKS – Fencing and gates are only effective if they are actually locked and secured. This seems too simple. Unfortunately, human complacency is all too common. The simple act of remembering to lock gates will greatly enhance your property’s overall security and aid in the prevention of vandalism.
- SEE Something, SAY Something – Too often, people think that reporting smaller acts of vandalism to the police is a waste of time or not important. Do not fall into this trap. If you witness an act of vandalism or other property crime, call the police to report the incident. Calling the police promptly will help increase the chance of vandals being arrested and charged for their crimes. If the police are unaware of crimes being committed, they cannot help solve the problem.
- VIDEO SURVELLIANCE – Video surveillance cameras not only capture criminal activity in the act and aid with police investigations, they also serve as a huge deterrent to any would be vandal. The physical presence alone of a security camera goes a long way in deterring vandals from engaging in criminal activity. It is important to note that video surveillance systems can be expensive. It is recommended that you consider your budget and consult with a video surveillance expert to craft the right solution for your property.
- SECURITY PATROLS – The presence of security guards/personnel is one of the most effective ways to preventing and deterring vandalism or any other criminal activity. Construction sites are frequent targets of vandalism. Contracting with a security service to conduct routine patrols is the most effective way to preventing such vandalism. If hiring a security service is not in the budget, it is recommended that you contact your local police department and request patrols for any hot spot areas that may be experiencing criminal activity or vandalism.
- CLEAN UP – Do not give vandals the satisfaction of allowing the public to see their acts of vandalism or graffiti. Implement a process/procedure for immediately cleaning and repairing damaged property. This prevents vandals from taking credit for their acts and enhancing their reputation amongst peers.
- OBSERVE – Graffiti “artists” often practice by marking notebooks, folders, and backpacks with their monikers or “tag”. Graffiti can occasionally be tracked back to the vandal using their personal property as evidence. Keep an eye out for students who carry markers, paint pens, or spray paint; these items are often used to vandalize property by “taggers”.
Decreasing property crime like vandalism, burglary and arson takes a community wide effort. Visible cooperation between local fire and law enforcement agencies, schools, businesses and residents helps put property criminals on notice that they are being watched.
About Dean Waddell
Dean Waddell is a Sr. Loss Control Consultant in Keenan’s Loss Control/Risk Management Department. He is based in our Torrance office and serves as a principal consultant in the deployment of Keenan’s IMReady (Incident Management Ready) resources to prepare client organizations to respond to violent emergencies and natural disasters.