Sunday, November 23, 2008

What Can You Do About Juvenile Vandalism? Plenty!

According to the Office of Juvenile Justice, in 1997, law enforcement agencies made approximately 136,500 arrests of persons under age 18 for vandalism. These juvenile arrests represented 44% of all vandalism arrests.

As many of us know, vandalism is a real problem in many communities, but there is something we can do:
  • Ensure property is well lit at all times. Be sure that property throughout the community, especially common areas, is well lit.
  • Start and get involved in a neighborhood watch program. Even if your community does not have a neighborhood watch, be the nosy neighbor. Take the time to peak out your window or door. Look around and if you see something suspicious--call the cops!
  • Clean up graffiti as soon as possible.
  • Report all crime to local police.
  • Use unbreakable glass and fixtures.
  • Put up and lock away all tools, machinery, and lawn furniture.
  • Report teens engaging in anti-social behavior (speeding, loud music, in common areas after they close, etc.). Complete log sheets to keep a record of anti-social behavior.
  • Contact local youth workers to find out what activities are available for young people.
  • And, if all else fails: Prosecute--if not the juvenile, the parent.