Designing out vandalism: the essentials

One nightmare for many property owners is vandalism, whether it is in the form of graffiti-covered walls, broken windows or damaged doors.

Designing out vandalism

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Although crime classified as “criminal damage” decreased by 14 per cent in 2015 with 1.2 million incidents reported according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, this decreasing trend does not lessen the disruption, related costs or psychological damage done to property owners.

While vandalism can occur for a number of reasons, such as criminals attempting to enter a property, trying to threaten the owner or resident, or just “for fun”, preparation and fast reaction to incidents can help dampen the effects in most cases.

Here are some tips on preparing appropriately.

Prevention

Preventive security measures are essential and start with the identification of vulnerable parts of a building – for example, darker, unlit spots or valuable items on display that might attract thieves. These shall then be addressed in security plans.

It is advisable to set up a surveillance system that is clearly visible, such as cameras or security personnel, and not to neglect the building and its surroundings. Fences, gates and appropriate landscaping can also help deter potential criminal activities.

Furthermore, the use of adequate building components, such as toughened glass, reinforced doors or cast iron drain pipes, can further improve security and avoid damage.

The International Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Association offers several ideas and strategies, in addition to best practice case studies on how to use design in order to avoid criminal damage.

Response to vandalism

Potential criminal acts and how to react to these shall be considered as part of an emergency response plan.

In the event of vandalism, acting quickly is essential. This means to be prepared and have access to a team that could clean up or repair damaged items on a short notice, as neglected buildings might attract further vandalism.

Many companies today specialise in offering emergency services for fixing doors or glazing broken windows. Being in London or Leicester emergency glass repairs such as Norman & Underwood Glazing (http://www.nanduglass.co.uk) are today available even within 24 hours.

All in all, property owners can avoid vandalism or diminish its effects with thorough preparation and a comprehensive emergency response plan.

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