Parks are one of the community’s greatest assets. A well-maintained neighbourhood park not only raises property values but is also a safe space for families and children to relax and play. However, parks are easy targets for vandals.
Vandalism ruins parks for the entire locality because it can damage and destroy public property. It also creates an unsafe environment for visitors, which may discourage people from visiting the park. This eventually leads to a decline in the quality of community life.
In this article, we’ll give you tips on how you can reduce vandalism at the local park and deter vandalism.
- Increase surveillance measures
Security cameras and surveillance measures are proven means to discourage acts of vandalism. Vandals are less likely to deface walls that are constantly monitored. Consider installing security cameras near vandalism hotspots so that you can identify perpetrators. Use a neighbourhood app to circulate footage of vandalism acts.
Additionally, a neighbourhood watch rotation can also help deter vandalism. Vandals are less likely to operate in patrolled areas. Ensure that your neighbourhood watch route includes regular walks around the park. Put up signs and flyers that encourage neighbours to say something if they see vandals in their area.
- Install shatter-proof fixtures
Streetlights and cameras are common targets for vandals because they are usually easy to damage. Invest in shatter-proof light fixtures and unbreakable CCTV cameras to beef up security in public areas.
While unbreakable fixtures are not really ‘unbreakable,’ they are certainly difficult to damage. Vandals usually do not want to spend too much time attempting to break or deface property, so shatter-proof lights may deter them.
Installing sturdy street lights around your neighbourhood also makes the community safer at night. This makes your location a better place to live in.
- Have secure fencing
Vandals usually wait until the park closes before defacing the wall. Installing secure fencing can make it difficult for them to enter the area after hours. Maintaining a good fence also makes the area safer for children, which drives up property value and makes the community more welcoming.
Ensure that all entryways to the park are closed and locked every night. If you have a serious vandalism problem, consider hiring a security guard for the night.
Improvements to a park’s layout can also reduce incidents of vandalism. Remove pedestrian throughways that go too close to walls. Install skate deterrents near walls and railings. Stake deterrents not only prevent unwanted noise, but they discourage vandals from escaping skateboards and bikes.
- Maintain trees and shrubs
Landscaping can have a huge impact on how vulnerable your park is to vandalism. Huge trees and shrubs that block the line of sight can encourage vandals to paint on nearby walls. They might also use these areas to stash their cans. Maintain trees and shrubs regularly so that the overgrowth does not lead to blind spots. Potential blind spots should be well-lit.
Grow thorny plants, vines, or low shrubs near walls so that they are difficult to access. However, ensure that these thorny plants are away from children’s play areas. Adding a fence around these shrubs makes it even more difficult for vandals to pass through.
- Clear vandalism
In the unfortunate event that you find graffiti in the park, clear it up immediately. Vandals thrive on attention and want their work to be seen. Leaving graffiti as it is may not only encourage them from doing it again but may invite more potential vandals to deface community property.
Invite local businesses to chip in for anti-vandalism efforts by asking them to sponsor neighbourhood clean-ups. This is a great way for the community to come together for a good cause. Organise children and youth-centred clean-up events so that every member of the community can contribute to this good cause.
Consider switching to graffiti-resistant paint to prevent further damage. You can also opt to cover walls with vinyl sheets that can be easily replaced in the event of vandalism.
The Bottom Line
Vandalism is a frustrating but preventable offence. Discouraging vandalism becomes easier when the entire neighbourhood comes together. Get together with members of the community to see how you can put a stop to vandals in your locality.