Whether you are worried about vandalism or have already been a victim of it, we hope that the tips shown here can help to keep your property safe.
By vandalism we are talking about the damage or defacement of property which also counts as criminal damage. It doesn’t matter if it is a home or business premises, the steps that can be taken are the same for all. In the UK, the most common types of vandalism are breaking windows, lighting small fires, fly-tipping, and graffiti.
Our homes and business premises are probably one of the biggest investments that we will ever make and it is important that we feel safe there and do everything we can to protect that investment.
If the damage caused costs less than £5,000 to repair, the maximum penalty is three months imprisonment or a fine of £2,500. If damage is more than £5,000, the maximum punishment is six months imprisonment or a fine of £5,000. However, this is only correct if the perpetrators are adults. Given that most vandals are under 16, it is often necessary for alternatives to imprisonment or hefty fines to be meted out. Police and local authorities have the discretion to issue on-the-spot fines of £50 for those under 16 and £80 for those aged 16 and over.
It may be impossible to prevent all acts of vandalism but there are some simple steps you can take that can help to discourage vandals from striking your property. This is what we are going to be looking at today.
If vandals choose to target your property and cause damage, using the letterbox has become a common way of doing so. There are countless stories of fireworks or burning materials being put through a letterbox.
In the town where I live a friend of mine had his house burned down after some idiots poured fuel through the letterbox and then set it on fire. Luckily no one was in the property at the time but it could have been much worse, especially as it was done late at night when most people are sleeping.
To prevent your letterbox from being used for such acts, it is recommended that you install a tough sprung letterbox, or one with draught excluders that make it harder to insert large objects.
Very few criminals want to be seen or have a chance of being caught in the act of vandalising property which is why good lighting is an effective deterrent. All lighting around the property must be in good working order and this includes any street lights. If any street lights are not working, contact your local council to report the issue.
Keep the Area Around the Premises Tidy
If there is a lot of trash around, this actually seems to attract vandals. If they see trash, they could go looking for something they could possibly steal, throw around and break or even set fire to so keep the area clean and tidy. Larger objects such as furniture should be disposed of properly instead of letting it build up.
The same goes for if you already have any existing graffiti around the premises. Leaving it will only attract more so deal with it as soon as you possibly can.
Video cameras are essential for both home and business premises whether vandalism is a problem or not. A good camera will record any crime happening and can be used to catch the criminals and also as evidence in court. Just seeing that you have cameras installed may be enough of a deterrent to keep vandals away. With many cameras available today, you can even monitor them from your phone when you are not at the property.
Protect Your Windows
If vandals are going around smashing windows, they usually throw something and run away before the noise alerts anyone and they get seen. They don’t want to hang around throwing rock after rock. Bored kids give up easily. If this is a problem in your area you should consider either break-resistant glass or window security film. The latter being the most inexpensive. This makes it much more of a challenge for a vandal to smash a window.
If the police don’t know that your property has been vandalised then they can’t do anything about it. Make sure that you report all acts of vandalism to your local police department straight away.
Keep All Sheds and Stockrooms Locked
Anything that is stored outside or in stockrooms and sheds should be locked up securely so that it can’t be stolen or damaged. Getting into the basic routine of securing these every evening will keep them safe, whether they are personal possessions or company assets.
Watch Out for Your Neighbors
One of the best ways of preventing vandalism to your home or business premises is to catch and put a stop to it happening in your local area. Your Neighbors will also appreciate this attitude, making them more likely to return the favor.
If a criminal can’t get onto your premises, they can’t do any damage so make it as hard as possible by having an automated gate system installed.