Graffiti and property vandalism are some of the top neighbourhood problems in Australia. In WA alone, the estimated cost of graffiti removal is $30 million every year. Nationally, the cost exceeds a staggering $1.5 billion.
Vandalism is more than an unsightly inconvenience and an unnecessary expense though. It’s notorious for increasing your area’s crime rate, decreasing property value and affecting income if you’re running a business. Such damage, as well as broken windows and other property vandalism, needs to be treated properly to not just fix, but prevent in the future too. Here are the top tips to stop vandals in their tracks and keep your home or business premise in good shape:
Keep Your Property Well-Lit
To help deter these criminal acts, keep your property well-lit with sensor or timed lighting. Good lighting shows passer-bys the property is likely occupied. No criminal wants to be put in the spotlight either! Sensor lighting, in particular, is great for scaring criminals off if they do decide to approach your property.
Vandals prefer to operate under the cover of darkness. Start by identifying key areas which are most likely to be targeted around your property and devise a lighting plan. This includes all security gates, entrances and exits. Homes or commercial premises with inadequate lighting, open entrances or no barriers are an open invitation for criminals.
Invest in Anti-Graffiti Window Film
Prevention is more cost-effective than cure. All properties can benefit from anti-graffiti window film which provides a sacrificial layer of protection. The cost of removing and replacing this film is much cheaper than removing and replacing glass that has been vandalised. Polishing scratches out of unprotected glass is also time-consuming.
Properties that are protected by an anti-graffiti window film will simply need to replace the film should they become victims of vandalism. If your home has been graffitied or damaged, quick removal of any evidence is encouraged. Criminals want their ‘work’ to be seen, so efficient cleaning and repairing eliminates their ability to take credit for it too.
Use Unbreakable Security Features
Investing in unbreakable security features is a great way to deter criminals too. Products like break-resistant glass are stronger than regular glass, making it difficult for vandals to penetrate. Other security features that are hard or near impossible to tamper with are roller shutters. Whilst some of these systems aren’t guaranteed to never be broken, the effort required to damage such installations is time-consuming and challenging, effectively decreasing a criminal’s motivation to vandalise.
Install Security Cameras
CCTV cameras are one of the most popular preventative measures. Security systems make vandals wary of who’s watching, leaving them less likely to damage homes and business premises. CCTV is also a worthwhile investment should vandalism occur as they may help police to report vandalism and identify the possible culprits. This is important for not just protecting you and your property, but the rest of the community too.
Strategically Plant Shrubs and Bushes
Strategically placed plants make it harder for vandals to reach their targets. Utilise thorny shrubs and bushes by fences, gates and windows to deter criminals. Remember, most vandals are after the easiest solution to damage properties and this adds a level of difficulty to the mix. Prickly or scratchy plants, like roses, holly and fire thorn are easy and visually pleasing ways to help discourage vandals from entering your property. Planting shrubs and bushes near windows and balconies as opposed to trees also eliminates vandals being able to climb up to enter or damage your home.
Make sure you keep your gardens well maintained too. Homes that appear unkept and messy are an invitation to vandals.
Design Better Buildings
Vandalism can be prevented in the early stages of building your home or business premise too. Design windows to be higher off the ground (highlight windows), which will make them less accessible and attractive to vandals than lower level windows.
Our homes are the most important haven. Caring for both the interior and exterior means vandalism can be reduced (or eliminated entirely) and you can feel safer and more secure. For more information about how you keep your property safe, chat to one of our staff today.