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      23.11.2008 17:57
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      why do people feel the need to do it

      We see it everywhere don't we, vandalism. You only have to walk down your own street and see names advertised on walls, shop walls and shutters, peoples houses, even on the floors we walk on. Walls broke, windows smashed, cars damaged and shutters on peoples windows. Is there really any need?

      I know when I was 15, hanging around on the streets and in the local parks I'd think I was clever to sketch my name on the park's climbing frame. That was all I did do though, I felt so guilty afterwards, I was always brought up to have respect for people and their property and my surroundings and treat everyone and everything with the respect I'd expect for myself. I don't know why I wrote my name on that climbing frame that day, I only wrote it small, with a permanent marker, all my friends laughed thought it was "cool" and decided they wanted to write theirs too. I guess I done it to try and be "cool" and "in" with the crew. It worked because my 'friends' liked what I did. But now I've grown up a little ( I mean I am still young I'm only 21 ) and I've got my own kids, I've realised that all these kids, or 'vandals' out there these days, really have no lives!

      Surely there are better things to do these days than go smash things up which don't belong to you and write rubbish all over walls. I hate it now when kids say "theres nothing for us to do" when there is plenty !! Theres game consoles of all kinds, televisions, computers, books, magazines, cleaning and tidying up, ironing and washing, polishing their shoes, board games to play, theres cameras now and a beautiful world why dont they take some photos, capture some memories, why dont they use their imaginations and actually have some "fun" like you do when your kids, play games, join clubs sports clubs (football, netball, basketball etc), art clubs, martial arts, book clubs etc, your never too old to have "fun", harmless fun! I'm sure its not fun to smash up peoples properties, cost people money, intimidate people elderly or young, ruin surroundings for young children who are just out to play and have genuine fun and be happy. No matter what though these "kids" will always have an excuse as to why they do such stupid things, maybe theyve had hard lives in one way or another or are going through a bad time and this is the way they feel they can vent their anger, people who are genuinely into art or graffiti and want to be noticed. I know some grafitti can actually look nice, but the artists go the wrong way about it why do it on walls next to police stations, on the sides of peoples houses. They would no doubt blame it on the fact that they were drunk too, or peer pressure with so called friends to be in with the crowd.

      See the sad thing is about these vandals is they dont realise the consequences of their actions when they are being cool and vandalising, spray painting walls, scribbling their names and who they "luv" all over the place. They spray paint signs, important ones to, signs for drivers to read as they are driving, signs for the public to read to give them directions to places etc, do the vandals not think that this can cause accidents, do they not think that some people have problems with their sight anyway without having to struggle to read past their black paint looking ugly on them. They smash shop windows and peoples windows, it costs shopkeepers and homeowners, I cant wait for them to get their own houses when they finally grow up and realise how much it costs to keep a house running without having to worry about recoating your walls with paint because you have "john woz ere 2k8" plastered up your wall, or a brick has gone through your window. They dont realise that half of the rubbish they write on these walls actually offend people, they use language which is disgusting, and I know us adults are not all totally innocent and never swear but is there any need to paint and write it on walls for everyone to see including children. Young, innocent children just learning to read, just learning about the world, see all this and dont need to think its 'right' because its EVERYWHERE, and they certainly dont need to read and learn it.

      No end of times I've walked down a street and seen a phonebox smashed up, drawn all over, food all over it. What if somebody was in desperate need of an ambulance or police of fire engine, they would have no chance, it could result in something fatal happening, all because of a five minute buzz trashing the phone. Again the vandals don't seem to understand this.

      Also I'm sure there are plenty of people who ring the Police when they see someone vandalising property, which is a good thing, its a crime they are committing but its a petty and small crime. So the police come out, and all they can really do is have a word with the criminal, and somewhere else there could be something serious going on, maybe someones caused a fire, theres a fight, but theres no officer to go as there is not enough officers these days and that little teenager who has just been buzzing for the past 10minutes writing his name all over the wall has stopped another serious crime from being solved and caused somebody to be hurt. Thats the reality of it isnt it. They really do not THINK before they do these stupid, little things.

      Now I don't know about you, but I personally think there tends to be more vandalism on local council estates, rather than the upper class areas or whatever you like to call them. The upper class areas where kids are not allowed out to actually have a life, parents are on £25,000 a year, you get my drift. I'm probably being stereotypical here. Yet on these local council estates, majority of people are probably on benefits or have lower paid jobs, yet the kids still have everything they want. They have the new clothes and gear to keep trendy and not be teased when they are with their "friends", they have the latest game console costing ooohh just £100 at least. They have it all, they are just as well off as other children, they have their mum, dad and families but they still find the need to go vandalise. They obviously havnt had anything done personally to them or their own homes as I'm sure that would make them think twice about doing it to somebody else and letting them suffer.

      To be honest though I don't think vandalism will stop anytime soon, To me its as if kids do it to keep up with the world, well their friends and mates and the crews around them. Everybody wants to be somebody these days, and as for teens etc for some reason the way for them to be somebody is to do something bad, not just vandalise, theres having fights, picking on people, drinking, taking drugs, smoking etc. Doing something wrong seems to impress their mates, they write who they are on walls and their mates say "Whhaaatttt thats Baaaddd Maaann", thats it they've passed the test they're coo! They smash a window "Thats Heavyyy Ya Get Me", now they are well in with the popular crowd of kids. Why can't it be, if I help this elderly lady across the road my friends will look up to me as I've done something RIGHT! Or if i put my litter in the bin rather than dumping it on the floor for somebody else to pick it up my mates will think I'm great because I've done something RIGHT!

      I'm starting to ramble now, but it really annoys me, for some reason the little petty things such as teens thinking their great by vandalising things really annoy me and get my back up. Hopefully, maybe one day people will start to just have fun when they are kids and teens.

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        23.11.2008 17:10
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        Complete lack of respect for other people and their property

        Vandalism is a serious crime which people do not pay enough attention to.
        Vandalism often occurs when there are large groups of youths who think it will be fun to write abusive words on the swings in the park or to carve their names no to the bodywork of cars.
        It is not taken seriously enough as most of the time the police or local authorities cannot help if the vandals are not caught red-handed. They just say the same thing over and over again that they will get back to you as soon as they have more information.
        But who is to blame? Most people would say that it is the parents' faults. They should teach their kids how to respect other people and their property. However, this is not always the case. Many parents think of their children as angels and have no idea what they get up to once they go out with friends.
        Also, sometimes the council is to blame. There are not enough facilities for young people so they just roam the streets in crowds and this then leads to vandalism.

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          28.01.2008 14:42
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          There is not an equal balance.

          Vandalism is something that I feel strongly about. I don't really care about graffiti, some of it actually looks okay. I get really, really miffed about broken glass!

          I have two dog and ALWAYS clear up after them in the street, but I am getting to the point where I'm wondering why I bother? I mean, I cannot walk anywhere in my area without encountering shards of glass on the pavement. I don't mean a little bit, it is huge quantities.

          This is actually dangerous. Yes, dog poo is gross and unclean and no one wants to step in it. But better than glass right? I mean, there are people out there waiting to fine you for not picking up after your dog. My father once was spot fined for not going into a ditch to pick up a poo. I mean it ws in a blooming ditch, what was the big deal? But who is waiting to fine these "kids" for smashing their bottles in our parks, at or bus stops and in the middle of our streets? NO ONE!! Why is this??

          I am not suggesting we don't clean up after our dogs, I'm just saying why are dog owners persecuted and these asbo yobs are left to it? I never see any other mess, just this smashed glass. Sunday morning is the worst time. If my dog cuts her foot on some of this glass one day, I won't be accountable for my actions! It really does anger me.

          What does everyone else think?

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            08.05.2007 18:40
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            Vandalism

            I dont see the point in vandalism myself, to me the people who do these things must have nothing better to do with themselves other that to cause damage and make a mess. Many years ago there were borstals to put naughty kids in, and most of the time it made them see the error of there ways. Nowerdays young people go to prison its like a holiday camp, they can come and go as they please, get tvs, and sometimes computers its no wonder they want to go back, it is so cushty.

            Recently my cousins child was killed in a housefire after a wheely bin was set alight and put against the door, and days later in the same area another bin was set alight and put against someones front door in this instants the people where out. This could be kids or adults, but they are playing with peoples lives, and what will happen if it is a teenager? will they get sent to prison? my cousin has got to live with the death of her 4 year old boys, and what about his sister? well she is having nightmares, and wetting the bed.....................

            Yes I know that all criminals are not the same, but these people are dangerous..................................

            When I went to mcdonalds with my son there was a disabled and a baby change facility that was downstairs, but due to vandals it had to be closed as they kept flooding the sinks, putting toilet paper down the toilet and blocking it.

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              03.05.2007 10:39
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              a pointless expense

              Vandalism



              If there is one thing that I really cant stand and one thing that at the moment seems to be really getting my goat it is vandalism. My dad works for a sub contractors and does quite a lot of work for the local council and he seems to always be rectifying damage that has been done to public areas by the mindless act of vandalism.


              He is forever fixing windows and doors in public toilets that have been broken or damaged week after week. What I find really frustrating is the fact that there is no point whatsoever in doing this vandalism.


              For example several weeks ago he was called to a village where local youths had literally taken a sledgehammer and obliterated the two cubicles in the local toilet. The doors were smashed into a thousand pieces and wash basins were knocked off the walls. The toilets were literally unusable and the cost for repairing all this was to exceed the thousands. The council promptly put to work my dad and several other skilled workmen to put the toilets back to their original state only for a phone call a few days ago to say the exact same thing had happened again!!! The toilets are in a fairly remote area and obviously the local youths think this is a right laugh but I just can’t see any point at all.


              Even when I was younger I didn’t find doing things such as breaking things and causing damage to public areas fun or amazing, so why do these kids today think it’s a fun thing to do.


              Breaking glass windows costs the council loads of money each year in both replacing the glass and paying someone to do it and eventually this money gets taken from us the tax payer.


              It really frustrates me to think that kids of today really have no respect for anyone or anything in their surroundings and I would hate to think that my child would grow up to behave in such a manner.


              What is more worrying is that people who see things like this happening are now too afraid to say anything to the perpetrators of this mindless destruction for fear of being attacked. What kind of society are we living in! I truly do blame parents and the teachings that they give their children as respect should be installed at home and with rules and regulations in the home children would be far less likely to commit these mindless acts out on the streets.


              I do hope the future will change somewhat and give way soon to a new breed of caring youths who find vandalism not only pointless but also damaging to themselves.

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                28.09.2006 20:17
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                See opinion

                This is a subject that always makes my blood boil. Graffiti, Mindless damage to property, Wanton destruction of anything and everything that is available. This is not just a problem for the UK you see it in France, Spain and certainly in large areas of America.

                The first thing that has me tearing my hair out is the Idiots that try to justify Graffiti by telling us it is urban art and telling us that the "Graffiti artists" are just expressing themselves, well let them express themselves on their own walls, not mine or my neighbours.

                We have a small park local to where I live and small saplings were planted all round the park for future generations to enjoy as they grew. Withing a week they were all snapped off and dead. Why? what possible reason could anybody have to do this? Just mindless vandalism.

                The problem is the Police are not interested and the public are too scared to do anything about it.

                A few months ago I was walking my dog around the park, there were a group of youths running around the bowling green digging and ruining the turf and generally smashing the place up. I shouted at them to stop (big mistake) I was verbally abused told to f... off and mind my own business and threatened. Due to my age and their numbers I had to walk away so I telephoned the local police station. After waiting in a telephone queue I was told they would send a car as soon as possible. I waited in my car in the car park for about 20 mins then I saw the youths leave the park. I waited for a further 20mins no police so I gave up and went home.

                The answer as I see it is to crack down hard. When a vandal is caught make him or his parents pay to repair the damage and give him community service on top make him work Saturdays and Sundays clearing up other vandals handywork. Or if he cant pay or won't do community service then put him away. If the vandals realise that there may be some unpleasant consequences to their actions it might make them stop and think before they act. This should also apply to younger kids none of this I'm under 10 so you cant touch me. If they are too young to know right from wrong then they are too young to be out unsupervised so fine the parents and perhaps they might then teach them right from wrong.

                Graffiti and vandalism costs us all in our council taxes and it makes the area look run down which seems to then attract more vandals, criminals and drug dealers until the whole area becomes a run down slum. ordinary people start to move away. Then who is going to move in other than those who like to live in a slum because it suits their criminal activities.

                If I had my way when a vandal was caught I would go to his house find his most treasured possessions and destroy them in front of him and see how he liked it or even better a few stripes across his backside might help but this might breech his human rights poor little love.

                Mick Gray

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                  22.04.2006 00:18
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                  Stop Them Before It Gets Unstoppable

                  Where do you start!?

                  Everywhere we turn we see graffitti plastered on walls, monuments knocked over cars burned out. Local authorities say they're working with police to deal with it yet things never change.

                  It's getting ridiculous when you see the vandals have the audacity to "tag" their work yet still get let off. HOW? WHY?

                  Whats the point in saying they will be dealt with when they know who they are yet still they are left.

                  If it was only the graffitti that they were getting off with then yes I'd still have a grievance but what really gets my back up is when I visit the cemetry and find headstones knocked down it annoys so much to know nothing is being one about it. And yes I have witnessed this 1st hand and reported it to local police who took so long to come that the culprits had gone and that was the end of it.

                  What can we do to stop this? And no this is nt where I say parents or society are to blame as I honestly think that this is done off your own back an the sooner we stop blaming parents, backgrounds & society for every fault that vandals have the sooner we can start making places nicer.

                  Dealing with vandals is the first stepping stone to changing our society as this is a big problem but not as big as some and in my opinion if we can take a firm stand against the smaller problems then the bigger ones will be easier to deal with.

                  I ask this question vandals take some weird pleasure from damaging what isn't theirs how would they like it if everytime they broke a fence or wrote somewhere they shouldn't the same was done to them?

                  Are they not the same as bullies that once they see a stand being taken they lose the "power" they hold and eventually stop?

                  We as a society can help the authorities by reporting incidents or if we see something & we know who is responsible then report them. However the police / auhorities need to be willing to take the time to act on the information or this problem will never pass.

                  Thanks for reading my opinion no offence meant except to those who think they can get away with it.....YOU CAN'T!!!!!!!

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                    24.03.2006 22:39
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                    How Do We Stop It?

                    Vandalism is a horrible thing and unfortunately it is quite prevalent in today’s society. It seems wherever you look you can see something that shouldn’t be there whether it be writing on the wall, rubbish on the street or shattered glass and most of the time it will be vandals who have done this. Although I am used to it now and try to ignore it when I can and also help out when I can I was looking at this topic and I was thinking why does vandalism occur and does it benefit anybody? I actually spied this review three days ago and have documented all of the cases of vandalism that I have seen and found out a bit about the people who did them so I hope you find this review as interesting as I did to write it.

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                    What is Vandalism?

                    For those who actually do not know what constitutes as vandalism, here is a description I found on the internet which sums it up well;

                    * The willful or malicious destruction, injury, disfigurement or defacement of any public or private property.

                    Within the subject of vandalism I would include things such as smashing glass, litter, graffiti, computer viruses and destroying property. There are so many other things that can be included as vandalism is such a widespread problem.

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                    Why does vandalism occur?

                    This is the question asked by most people and to be honest there is no real answer to it. I think that most sensible people will agree with me that there is no reason for it and in my opinion everybody who commits an act of vandalism should be punished in some way or another. It actually provides no benefit to the individual because they are seen as annoying and yobbo-ish and it is just a hindrance to society.

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                    Who are the culprits?

                    Talking to my friend who works for the council he told me that the majority of vandalism is caused by youths and some of these youths do not even realise they are doing it and causing an offence. He told me that the ages are usually between 13 and 25 with the majority lying between 15 and 18.

                    Some vandalism is caused by people who are naturally violent and many cases are caused by people who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The thing is it is always seems to be people who seriously have nothing better to do than to cause harm to others by their vandalism and I will come back to this a bit later in how to stop it.

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                    In three days what have I witnessed?

                    Litter:
                    This is one thing that really drives me mad because I can’t stand it when people drop litter when all it takes is to walk a metre or so to a bin in many cases. The worse is on a Saturday morning when we have the local chavs on the common in front of our house and they are a nightmare. Every Saturday morning me and my Mom go out to the common and pick up the take-away wrappers, the booze bottles and the crisps and chocolate wrappers that have been left there. Also with this subject is the matter of Birmingham streets which are ok because there are litter pickers always around but I noticed several people each day just drop litter in the street and there were bins nearby in every single case I saw.

                    Smashed Glass:
                    I went to the train station on Wednesday and noticed that one of the panels of glass was smashed so me being the nosy person and doing this little experiment went and asked why it had happened. The guy working there told me that on Tuesday evening they had three youths aged around fourteen fight just outside the station and one guy crashed into the glass and then one of the others actually picked up a stone and launched it at the glass. Terrifying for the person on charge that night as he didn’t even dare try to stop them in fear of them pulling a knife on him as you know what some of the youths are like in today’s society.

                    Scratched Bench:
                    Back to the common we live by and when I was walking to feed the swans on the pond the other day I saw that the park bench there was vandalized beyond belief. It looked like somebody had literally took a knife and tried to saw through the bench. I would have been worried to put my skin next to it in fear I would get a splinter so I would hate for one of the swans or ducks by us to brush past the bench.

                    Stone Throwing:
                    One of the most annoying acts of vandalism I noticed the other day was when I was visiting my friend near Stoke and two lads were sitting on top of a bridge and throwing stones at cars below them. I can imagine that if one of them did hit your car they would leave some damage and could even crack the windscreen so I would not have been impressed if one had hit mine.

                    Graffiti:
                    I know this is probably one of the most common acts of vandalism but it is just unnecessary and annoying. Sitting on the train today I could read that Stacy apparently fancies Tim which is interested and then while in the toilets in the Bull ring I read something so obscene I cannot even repeat it in this review. Graffiti annoys me as it is not pretty and not clever and it just annoys me that there are annoying people out there who are immature and stupid enough to find this kind of thing funny.

                    Torn Seats:
                    This annoyed me beyond belief the other day as I was sitting down on the train and I noticed on the seat in front it was torn all the way down and I was staring at it and there were blue smudges either side so then it struck me that somebody must have done this with a pen. Damage like this is just so annoying because I just kept thinking how scruffy it made the train seem and it is a shame because things like this should not happen.

                    So there you go and I think you will agree that there are far too many things I have seen in just a few days and it annoys me that they happen because they just shouldn’t.

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                    What can we do to stop vandalism?

                    This is one thing that I am not sure what people can do apart from crack down on the vandals themselves. The only problem with that is I would never stand up to a vandal because if they are willing to do the awful, unnecessary things they do I would hate to think what they could do to me. I do have a few ideas though on what could help a little.

                    The first thing is to report people if you see them committing vandalism. You do not have to go crazy and dial 999 but instead phone your local police station and explain the situation so that they know about it. I am not saying that anything will be solved by this but you never know.

                    With respect to the youths that hang around your street and seem to want nothing more than to cause mischief I think if they simply had somewhere to go then they would be a lot better. There should be more youth clubs around to encourage people to do something with their spare time. My boyfriend admits he used to vandalise things when he was younger and he said it was because him and his friends were bored and the parents didn’t want them in the houses so they hung around the streets. Youths need to be given something to do even if it is a youth centre or an arcade opening nearby so they can keep occupied.

                    The final thing is to have more street wardens patrolling the streets to keep an eye on things but I think this would be extremely costly to the state so I don’t think they would ever do it. Also more security cameras can be placed around so at least vandals may be recognised.

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                    My Verdict:

                    Well as you can tell I just cant stand vandalism and it annoys me that people do it and I just wish they would get a clue and realise that there is more to life than creating others pain and lets face it if your community is being terrorized by vandals then it does hurt you. I can’t stand that they get away with it and I wish that more could be done to prevent them carrying on.

                    Thanks for reading.

                    xxx

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                      13.06.2004 01:55
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                      Just before Christmas at 8am our telephone rang. The caller was a lady walking her dog across the Recreation Ground in our village. She had spotted a light on in the Sports Pavilion and could see fire extinguishers laying on the grass outside, all of which had been let off. She had called us because I am the Clerk to the local Council and both my husband and I are on the local football club committee. I dialled 999, and Steve made his way up to the pavilion??.. Rewind to seven years ago. After living in Suffolk until I was seventeen, I had moved to London after meeting my ex-husband. We made a life for ourselves in the city, and I gave birth to three children. In 1997, we decided that the city was not a place we wanted to raise our children and decided to move back to the country. We moved to Glemsford in February 1997, to a four bedroomed detached house in a quiet cul de sac road. The children soon settled into school, the two boys attending the local village school, before Rob moved to the Middle School five miles away in the summer of that year. They made friends quickly and as a parent, I have always got on well with the majority of their friends. Of course there are the odd one or two who are a pain in the butt, but on the whole the kids were well behaved. Summer months saw the boys spending hours out with their mates, playing in the field to the rear of our property on their bikes, or making ?dens?, which consisted of taking a couple of our garden chairs and a bit of old carpet, and putting it under the shade of one of the many trees it the edge of the wood called ?The Hubble?. Both the boys joined the local football team, and Rob was picked to play for West Suffolk and East Anglia, spending two weeks on a tour of Estonia. Happy days. The lads he played football with we
                      re a great bunch, and they all spent Saturday afternoons swimming, bowling or hanging out at one or another?s houses. By the millennium, my husband and I were divorcing and my eldest son Rob decided to go and live with his Dad on the outskirts of London. Of course as a parent, I wanted the best for Rob, for him to be happy, but there was a fear in the back of my mind that he would maybe fall in with the wrong crowd and get into trouble. Need I have worried? It is now time for Rob to do his GCSE?s and his teachers have predicted A?s and B?s for him. He plays football every week, treats his body as a shrine and is adamant he will never smoke or take drugs, despite having admitted to a puff of a joint a year ago. So where, you might wonder is this all leading? Glemsford is a village of roughly 4,000 residents. We have a large estate in the middle of the village, mainly council houses, and the rest of the village is sprawled across a three or so mile radius. We have some wonderful old houses dating from centuries ago, a thriving silk mill, which produced silk for Princes Diana?s wedding dress, and the most successful business, Canon Avent, who make the baby feeding bottles and accessories. Granted, the children don?t have much to do, as their one and only piece of equipment, a skateboard park, was taken away from them two months ago, after a complete blunder by the District Council. The nearest town is six miles away, and although a bus service runs into town every hour, most kids have to rely on their parents for transport if they wish to go swimming or bowling. About three years ago we began to have a problem with vandalism. Petty little things. Our Village Hall was the target for the first bout, when a piece of guttering was ripped off and I witnessed the lads doing it. We reported it
                      , gave their names and nothing was done. One of the lads mothers decided that she would provide him with an alibi to say he was not even there. Things got steadily worse. The local school was targeted on numerous occasions, and they fitted security cameras, on which they caught a lad causing damage to their playground. Was anything done? No, this time the reason was that the image was not clear enough. The cemetery was another target. Gravestones were knocked over, and even moved onto different graves, the mortuary stores which is used as a storage place for the council?s paperwork, was broken into on numerous occasions, and the seats within the cemetery were dragged to the bottom of the cemetery and broken. The final straw was when the sports pavilion was vandalised, just hours after five of us had given it a much needed lick of paint. Paint had been daubed all over the walls and tiles taken off the roof. A man had been playing football with his son and his friends, and had watched all this occurring but would not give evidence. Why? The children were between the ages of nine and fourteen. What possible recriminations could he have? The police were called, but again nothing was done. Instead I talked to one of the boy?s parents, who agreed that he would come and re-paint the pavilion, which he did under my partner?s supervision one Saturday morning, whilst all the boys were football training. Oh and funnily enough, the police came round to me the following week to say they had a complaint from one of the parents as I had sworn at her son for his part in the vandalism. LAUGHABLE. The Parish Council were furious at the lack of help from the police and decided to hire a team of security guards, who would patrol the village four nights per week. We had a number of complaints from residents but we pointed out that the cost w
                      as minimal, in fact only about £6,000 per year, so divide that between 4,000 people on the electoral roll, and it really is peanuts. However, people soon agreed that the security guards were having the desired effect. Vandalism virtually stopped, and instead of being plastered all over the newspapers on a weekly basis with reports of anti-social behaviour, Glemsford settled back to being the quiet village that I had fallen in love with back in 1997. Earlier this year, our local constabulary benefited from a new police inspector, a female. She promised wonderful things, and said that her officers would work in partnership with the security firm to ensure that the village stayed the quiet peaceful haven it had become. We even got another beat officer, so the Parish Council decided to halve the hours of the security guards. So, has it got better? In a word, NO. In fact it has got worse. You might remember earlier in this review I mentioned The Hubble. A large wood, which I can see from my back garden, it is a great place to walk the dog and for the kids to play hide and seek. Or rather, it was. Since the Summer of this year, local lads, the same ones my Rob used to be friendly with when he lived at home, have decided that The Hubble is theirs. Dens are made, and these aren?t just your normal kids dens. Oh no, these are dens made with garage doors, car seats and pine cladding. Because The Hubble is a wood, it was some time before we even realised that the dens were being built. However, one evening we witnessed smoke rising from the trees and Steve went over to investigate. The sight he was met with left him absolutely gobsmacked. An old metal water tank was being used to light fires in. Branches had been cut from the trees to make the fires, and a group of lads sat round the tank, smoking pot, and
                      sniffing solvents. When Steve burst through the trees, everything they had in their hands was thrown straight into the fire. We called the police??they came out three hours later, by which time the boys had long gone. I was gutted, all those lads went to school with my eldest son, and a lot of them were intelligent boys, and all they were now doing was wasting their lives. Three more times this happened, three more times the police either came out hours later, or even the next day. We decided that enough was enough and we arranged to demolish the den. When Steve and our neighbour went over to rip it down, it had been burned to the ground. Had they known, or had someone else burned it for them? We?ll never know. Of course we then though the troubles were over, but no. Within days, another den was being built, so I made it my business to find out who actually owned the land. I managed to trace a part-owner who arranged to meet me, with other members of the council, and the police, about a month ago on a Saturday morning. What we found when we entered the wood that day, made my stomach turn. Another new den had been built, this time much more robust than he first. A mattress lay on the floor, tarpaulin was used as the roof, and the walls consisted of garage doors and pine cladding ripped from walls. Car seats were set out in a circle, and there was even carpet on the floor. Empty Tippex and glue bottles littered the floor, and the whole area was littered with beer cans and alcohol bottles. Underneath one of the seats were two bags. Inside both bags was a bong; a plastic item used for smoking various substances. Also in one bag was a piece of paper with the name and address of one of the lads who I know very well. The police were not a bit interested. Their answer? How could they prove the bag belonged to that boy? I could cheerfully ha
                      ve throttled the two officers there and then. We found choppers used to cut branches from the trees for their fires. Again, the police were not interested. They said it would entail far too much paperwork and it would be better if we disposed of any tools or weapons ourselves. INCREDIBLE. The landowner wasn?t much use either. As she doesn?t live in the village now, she admitted she was not particularly bothered about the mess in the wood. She had been trying to include it in the Local Plan for years, with a view to building on it, but the District Council were opposed to the idea. So, we were banging our heads against a brick wall. The owners of the wood weren?t prepared to do anything, the police said it was too dark and difficult to find at night, so us residents had to put up with kids sniffing substances and taking drugs yards from our gardens. You may be thinking that these lads must have parents that do not care. For the majority of them, the answer to that is yes, their parents do not give a toss. But one of the lads, who I know really well, has parents that have done everything to try and steer him away from the slippery slope from which he is sliding. Together with his school, they have had meetings with a local drugs group, who promised to support them and their son, and get him back onto the straight and narrow. They have failed. Miserably in fact. The lad has behaved for about three weeks, no drug taking, sniffing and even no smoking. The drugs team organised a bowling evening for which they needed parental consent. The weekend before the event, the lad went out, and didn?t come home all night. When he emerged the following day, he was out of his head on glue. His parents said he could not go to the bowling, and refused to sign the slip. However, he went because he forged the signature of his pare
                      nts. Incredible, particularly when his parents had been in touch with the team and had explained all that had gone on that weekend. So, where to now? Who knows? Although the last den was demolished by us, another one was erected so we?ve now hired community service workers to clear the whole area. My children are not allowed to go over there at all now to play and they never will be as long as there is a drugs den in the woods. The lads that use it are permanently spaced out and are covered in scabs, spots and look filthy. Obviously not content with drugging themselves silly, they now have decided to vandalise everything in the village again. Just before Christmas the primary school was again the target, and the sleigh which they were using on the Christmas float that travels round the village was burned to a cinder. Luckily locals rallied round and made a new one. The float did its tour but Father Christmas was stoned by local kids and some of them knocked on doors pretending they were with the float, and collected money, which they then went and spent. The police were called and names were given as most of them were known to the people on the float, but to date NOTHING has been done yet again. The Library had its doors smashed in and a mess left everywhere and the final straw was the pavilion. Why am I so certain that it?s them? Umm, quite simple really. They scrawled their ?street? names over the walls and also ?The Hubbles Set Up? was burned into the underside of the canopy. When Steve went there, the first aid kit had been opened and every cream, ointment and balm was squirted all over the place. Two large drums of white line marking paint were spilled everywhere, both inside and outside the pavilion. Chairs had been thrown into a neighbouring field and sealant had been squirted in every lock on the building,
                      as well as the fire extinguishers being let off everywhere. Of course, Steve gave their names to the police, and also asked them to contact me, but again, nothing will be done, as there is no concrete proof. However, if I ever catch any of them doing anything again, I won?t hesitate to give them a clout round the ear. As for our local bobbies, I?ve not seen hide nor hair of them since we met up at The Hubble all those weeks ago. They are supposed to ring me once a week to discuss what?s going on in the village so I can report to our meeting, but they never do. The police inspector is always unavailable and never answers emails or letters. I realise it is a very small minority of mindless morons that are causing the damage, but the thing that exasperates me completely is that we know who they are and so do the police, yet they get away with it time and time again. Add to that the fact that 95% of these lads played football for the village team only a couple of years back, yet now they feel they can wreck the sports pavilion with not a shred of guilt. Since that episode the bus shelter has been vandalized, old people have been terrorised and the Village Hall has again been a target although in all fairness things are quieter now and there was a drugs raid last week in the village. No doubt we will extend the security guards hours again, and I would expect a flurry of phone calls from residents moaning again about the cost. Me? I?m happy to pay those few pennies each year, if it stops these total idiots causing the damage that they have been doing the past few weeks. What possesses them to behave like total animals and destroy property? Oh yeah, of course silly me, it?s all the stuff they?re sniffing and snorting???.

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                        11.09.2003 10:30
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                        I am a teenager and I look down on people who smash underpass lights and spray paint walls. The comments they write on walls are so pathetic-gaz waz ea or I luv rob. To be frank I couldent care less! I have yet to come across a piece of vandalism that speaks something positive like boycott nike for forcing people in developing countries to work for peanuts! The truth is vandals dont appreciate what they have and they know that they wont have to clear up the broken glass on the floor. To be quite honest the laws in the UK to my mind are >way< to tolerant of vandals. As far as I am concerned vandals should me physically forced to clear up the destruction they created. Why the hell should anyone else do it? If they refuse to clear it up then there is a choice. You clean it up or you get a smack in the teeth. If they knew that if they were caught there would be absolute hell to pay they would think very carefully before vandalising. There are certain situations where this law would be inhumane to apply. For instance if a person doesnt know right from wrong they need psychiatric help and support not a clip around the ear. If there was any clue that the person was genuinely mentally ill they should under go a psychiatric assessment before punishment! Thanks for reading. *please comment*

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                          24.07.2003 21:02
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                          People who vandalise things are a bit like the people who drop litter in that they are selfish and nasty. I don't understand how people can have fun from wrecking other peoples possessions and messing the public places up for everyone else. It is horrible to drive through a nice town or village and see Johnny luvs Sharon written on the bus shelters. I think that people who do this have no respect for other peoples property which is something that their parents should have taught them! I don't think any of my children would ever have vandalised, at least I hope not. I would hate to think that my kids could have been responsible for making someone as sad as I felt when some little toerags knocked the heads off of all my garden gnomes and threw my garden bench into the fishpond. If people are caught vandalising stuff they should be made to put their creative talents to good use by painting the houses of pensioners and painting all of the local things that need paint like streetlamps and public benches. They should also have to clean up their own mess and the mess of people who didn't get caught. If your children come home with splashes of spray paint on them you should make sure that they are not vandalising! Children should be encouraged to express themselves in ways that don't harm others. Some of the vandalism art is very good like the stuff that is painted onto trains and the ones in films about new york. If children have that talent it should be channelled into something more useful, perhaps like painting murals to brighten the towns up a bit.

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                            29.06.2002 16:45
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                            • "Hard To Combat"

                            Vandalism, or Criminal Damage, as I tend to use, is an awful blight on our wonderful country, and literally affects each one of us, every day. Whether it's the offensive graffiti we walk past on the way to work, or the smashed-up bus shelter we sit in to wait for the buses with their ripped-up seats. We just can't escape the fact that one person's actions over a couple of minutes of vandalism, can impact on countless people for weeks on end. Almost every day, I can spot more damaged items, and the problem shows no sign of slowing down. It can be attributed perhaps to the modern socoty, in which we live. One in which people do not have much time to care about anything - a society in which many people have a poor standard of life, and need a quick fix to their problems. One where people only look out for themselves, and the sense of community has largely disappeared. So what is the solution? To attempt to find out, we must work out the causes to why people do it. There are a few distinct groups and circumstances under which people committ these crimes : - people under influence of drink / drugs - bored / rebellious adolescents - graffiti artists - accidents - people in extreme situations eg.anger, jealousy, grief And this is where the problem lies - anyone is capable of criminal damage, under the right set of circumstances. In my current job, I have been involved in countless arrests for Criminal Damage, all caused for different reasons, by very different people. There are people who pull off car park barriers at night, to avoid paying their fee; a male who punched and smashed a window, because he was angry at losing his mobile phone; inebriated males who damage lifts and set off fire-alarms, just because it seems like a good idea; graffiti artists, to leave their mark on the town, and to earn respect from their peers; small children breaking fixtures and fittings by swinging on them, even
                            to the extent of flooding a shop by hitting the sprinkler head; bored juveniles setting fire to signs and rubbish, to entertain themselves. Some of these groups we can try to target, more easily than others. For genuine graffiti artists, we can have dedicated areas to display their talents - graffiti, when done by talented artists, can look stunning. For the drunken vandals, a change of the licensing laws may help - if people were allowed to drink later into the night, maybe we would see an end to thousands of drunk males piling out of pubs at the same time, hitting anyone and anything in sight. For the others, there may be little or nothing that can be done. There will never be a cure for accidental damage, as people will always make mistakes - be it kicking a ball through a window, or dropping an object. People under extreme circumstances will always have extreme circumstances. There is no way of stopping people from being angry, or jealous. Maybe it is even better for these people to take out their aggression on property, rather than the actual target of their anger / jealousy. Then there are the destructive adolescents. Many people would suggest that they committ crimes purely out of boredom, and that if there was more to do for them socially, they would not need to offend. In some cases, this may be a good solution. But for others, it would achieve nothing. A couple of youth clubs nearby, is not going to stop a youngster who smashes up cars for the thrill and excitement of it, who looks forward to people seeing what he has done, and the potential of a chase from the Police. Some people use competitive sport to bring them the excitement they need in life - others smash things up!! And as much as I detest these people, you will not stop them. All that can be hoped is that they will get bored of it, and / or grow out of it. But certainly, children need to be taught about respect, by schools and families. By bringing
                            back some community spirit, and pride, maybe kids would be able to appreciate the damage they are causing - and the effect it has on others. Because surely people who are involved in Criminal Damge don't think, or perhaps care, much about the consequences of their actions. To avoid a £2 parking fee, people cause up to £1000 worth of damage by snapping off a barrier. A smashed door or window costs £100s, and even some graffiti can costs £1000s to remove. Consider how much more money councils would have to spend on important community issues, if they didn't have to spend money repairing property, or removing graffiti. For me, Criminal Damage is the most brainless of crimes. I don't condone any crimes, but to smash up a phone box requires no intelligence, effort or thought whatsoever - pathetic!! You can see that the problem of vandalism cannot be solved with a few easy measures. All we can try to do is keep our own personal pride in or society, and to foster community spirit wherever possible. Don't ignore these offenses, just because they seem petty at the time. Without people telling them, or giving evidence, the Police cannot help with the problem, especially in their abysmally small numbers. This proactive approach, coupled with a society which tries to involve and encompass all its citizens may be our only hope against this most anti-social crime of vandalism.

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                              31.03.2002 00:47

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                              • unnecessary

                              Vandalism is for little shits who have no brains and small dicks. - Advantages: none, none, none - Disadvantages: costly, unsightly, unnecessary

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                              20.02.2002 05:39
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                              What Is Vandalism? ‘Named after uncivilised barbarians of Roman times, it is willful or malicious destruction, injury, disfigurement or defacement of any public or private property.’ When a person is subjected to the crime of vandalism, it can affect them in many different ways. It isn't just about the damage to the materials in question,It can also mean they lose out financially, and that they become emotionally unsettled.Vandalism can include the destruction of public buildings and places, such as schools, churches and parks, places that we take our children to daily, places that these vandals were probably taken to when they were younger, places that belong to the community. When A bored group of young people breaking windows and destroying the interior of an abandoned building or house under construction, do you think they will stop and think about the cost to the owner of the property. Everyday negligence including chewing gum under seats, graffiti, and carpet burns in public places, etc.; all these events make it a less comfortable place of work or study. Extreme Halloween pranks, going out of there way to scare innocent victims for there own amusement. Arson, thinking it’s funny to set alight to someone’s car that they have worked hard to afford. Payphones which may be needed in times of an emergency are often targetted by vandals, smashed up and messed up till they are unusable. Railway lines and public transport in general are another favourite place for vandals. Items are frequently thrown on to the lines or actually at passing trains and buses without any thought for the fact that both actions could cause fatal injuries. And even though these days spraying graffitti is seen as somewhat of an 'art form' it is still a fact that when it is not done in controlled circumstances but by youths just wanting to fill their time, it can make an area look scruffy an
                              d unpleasant. When Does Vandalism Happen? Vandalism tends to happen more in the evenings because of the darkness which acts as a camouflage to the assailants and at weekends when people are not at work or school it makes it easier to target these buildings. Who Commits Vandalism? We can't say whether it is more one kind of person than another, but it is generally known to be males that lead the vandalism stakes throughout the age ranges. Where Does Vandalism Happen? Vandalism can happen anywhere but some of the most popular places include parks, schools, churches, shopping centres, office buildings, peoples cars and homes. Vandals see no boundaries. The bills for vandalism tend to be footed by the general public in the form of increased taxes, or charity events to raise funds to replace the demolished property. In some communities they may never find the funds to repair the church hall where the kids go to sunday school, or to repair the minibus that picks up the elderly for day trips out, or to repair the adventure playground that the village had worked hard to raise the money for in the first place. Vandals don't ever think of the repercussions Can We Combat Vandals? A proven method of combatting vandalism is when communities come together and form watch groups, these are simply a way of watching out for one another and not being afraid to contact the police when vandals are apparent. I personally cannot understand why anyone could get a thrill out of destroying someone else’s belongings. I think it is a disgrace that these vandals have such a lack of respect for other people. I think there should be harsher laws about the offence and then maybe a vandal would think twice about scraping there keys along side someone’s car or cutting the phone lines outside someone’s house, or smashing the windows of the front room. The
                              ses acts not only cause material damage, but also upset a person emotionally. Research Resources included: news.bbc.co.uk bins-n-benches.freeserve.co.uk education2000.co.uk ~~~~~UPDATE~~~~~ The reason I'm updating is because I got up this morning to find that our car had been completely and utterly trashed, it has happened lots of times before, so much so that for a while we decided to not bother having a car at all. Anyway the car we got recently was not at all expensive, for that same reason we didn't want to fork out tons of money for a car to get it wrecked-so it's what you might call a run-around car and its nothing flash but it does the job, well it did till last night anyway. It was parked on the drive and it was fine when I went to bed about 11pm, but when I got up this morning, at about 5am, it was half way in the road, backwindows smashed, all doors open, trashed inside with the mechanics at the front ripped out (the ignition barrel, I think). There were also some drawings in the front it looked as though there were a few of them. Anyway the car is an automatic so that may have been the reason that they couldn't hotwire it, but then why did they have to do so much damage? I am pretty skint and I don't know when or if I'll be able to get it repaired. The most worrying thing is that at sometime in those 6 hours they were only a few feet away from me and my kids, destroying my vehicle. What if they had decided to try the house? or what if they had seen my cat (who often prowls around in the garden at night)? do we know what these vandals are really thinking or even capable of. I think it would be wise if the police were to do patrols regularly to try and prevent this kind of vandalism. I don't care if it's 'just kids'-it frightens me and I think there should be a national curfew, they shouldn't be out at that time of night. And the parents who let their kids out at that deadly hour should be ashamed of themselves. Ever thought of teaching your kids to respect people and other peoples property?

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                                22.11.2001 18:54
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                                Yes, I live in a council flat (at least when I'm not at uni I do) with my boyfriend and we have been there for a year and a half now. Inside it's lovely, ok it will never be featured in House and Home magazine, but it's ours. When we moved in all we had was a microwave and a double bed (what more do you need for a good life? ;-)) and gradually we built it up and filled it with stuff and made it the lovely home it is today. But this op is not about my flat. This is about the pathetic losers who ruin the area we live in. Recently the council repainted all the corridors and lobbys, from council standard magnolia (yuck) to a nice pastel blue colour. But why do they bother, when before the paint has even dried, some mindless idiots came along and graffitied the fresh walls. It does my head in. The majority of people who live on council estates are decent people, and these prats give them a bad name. No wonder the council does not want to spend money on improving facilities, if they will only be wrecked. There are other things I could complain about, such as all the rubbish everywhere, the people who chucked an old cooker out of the top floor of the tower block, landing about a metre from my boyfriends car, but DooYoo says I must write about vandalism. Now many a boring train journey has been livened up by looking at the bright colours of the graffiti on bridges/embankment walls, and marvelling at how anyone could actually get up there to spray/paint/deface. Do they use ropes and abseil? It's a mystery to me. There can also be graffiti that makes interesting points. I passed a house in Cardiff a few days ago that as all boarded up and had messages all over the boards about student hardship and the government. I stopped to read a bit and to me, I would rather see graffiti than a plain empty boring drab space, especially in an urban area. How can people complain about tasteful, bright graffiti, when across the road are huge billboards frm
                                the greedy consumer giants, the Gap and Calvin Klein (for instance). Vandalism also includes things like breaking windows, and smashing things up, things which are typically blamed on the "youth of today". Left wing do gooders claim that it is because the poor darlings are from deprived backgrounds and not enough is provided for them to do. Bo****s. I have found that in so called deprived areas there are actually more community activities for people to get involved in than in so called middle class areas. For example, on my estate in Birmingham, there are two community centres providing youth clubs, internet access and advice. There is also a huge leisure centre. In the area that I grew up in, there was a church and a few pubs. If you were religious, there was a Christian youth club once a week, but there were nowhere near the amount of activites available as where I live now. Also, what is wrong with providing your own entertainment, eg. reading, going for walks, looking round the shops etc. I never had much to do when I was growing up yet I never hung around on street corners drinking cider out of a bottle before going and smashing a bus shelter up. Maybe some vandalism is down to peer pressure. I think a lot of it is just for fun. It's not much fun for the people who actually want to live in a world where things work and don't have to constantly be repaired. When I did Law A Level we looked at some of the new practices brought in by the government regarding sentencing. The courts now have new sentencing powers known as "reparation". This means that if someone has been prosecuted succesfully for defacing a wall, then part of their punishment may be to go and clean it up. I think this is a great idea, to have a punishment actually relating to the offence. However, as only a tiny minority of all offences make it to court, especially somewhat minor acts of vandalism, I doubt whether this will act as much of a
                                deterrent. There will always be kids (and let's face it, it generally is kids and young people who do it) who find it amusing or a good way to let out frustration by smashing things up. Sport is a great way for some people to let out their out frustration, for me writing does the trick. I feel so much better after writing this! Although I know it won't chnage anything. No doubt, when I go back home for Christmas something else in the area will have been ruined. Rant over. But I may return for more.

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