Vandalism as a Crime
Vandalism as crime The destruction of glass windows and doors is a form of vandalism. Politically motivated vandalism. Private citizens commit vandalism when they willfully damage or deface the property of others or the commons. Some vandalism may qualify as culture Jamming or sniggling: it is thought by some to be artistic in nature even though carried out illegally or without the property owner’s permission. Examples include at least some graffiti art, billboard “liberation” and possibly crop circles.
Criminal vandalism takes many forms. Graffiti on public property is common in many inner cities as part of a gang culture; however, other more serious forms of vandalism that may take place during public unrest such as rioting can involve the willful destruction of public and private property. Vandalism per se is sometimes considered one of the less serious common crimes, but it can become quite serious and distressing when committed extensively, violently or as an expression of hatred and intimidation.
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Examples of vandalism include salting lawns, cutting trees without ermission, egg throwing, breaking windows, arson, spraying paint on others’ properties, tagging, placing glue into locks, tire slashing, keying (scratching) paint, ransacking a property, and flooding a house by clogging a sink and leaving the water running. Side of a car that has been keyed. A caution sign damaged by bullet holes. Actions of this kind can be ascribed to anger or envy, or to spontaneous, opportunistic behaviour – possibly for peer acceptance or bravado in gang cultures, or disgruntlement with the target (victim) person or society.
Opportunistic vandalism of this nature may also be filmed, the mentality of which can be akin to happy slapping. The large-scale prevalence of gang graffiti in some inner cities has almost made it acceptable to the societies based there- so much so that it may go unnoticed, or not be removed, possibly because it may be a fruitless endeavour, to be graffitied on once again. In view of its incivility, punishment for vandalism can be particularly severe in some countries. In Singapore, for example, a person who attempts to cause r commits an act of vandalism may be liable to imprisonment for up to 3 years and may also be punished with caning.
Vandalism in the UK is construed as an environmental crime and may be punished with an ASBO (Anti-Social Behaviour Order). Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani made a crackdown on vandalism a centerpiece of his anti-crime agenda in the 1990s, asserting that a strong campaign against nonviolent “quality of life” crimes such as vandalism would bring about a corresponding decrease in violent crime. FBI statistics claim that New York’s crime rate plummeted during his tenure. [