New York State Police

Crime Prevention:
The Scoop on Vandalism

Vandalism - the willful destruction or defacing of property - is a crime. It's expensive to repair. It makes our communities unattractive and unsafe. It isn't cool.

Help send a clear message that
teens don't tolerate vandalism!

Look around your community. Do you see:


From obscene and violent language scrawled on a public bathroom door to elaborate murals on a brick wall, graffiti appears in many forms. But it's all the same, if it's not on the artist's property- it's vandalism, and it's a crime.

Graffiti is often the first sign that gangs are taking over a neighborhood. Gangs- "taggers" act as messengers for the gang, use graffiti to mark their turf, advertise their exploits, and challenge or threaten rival gangs.

Graffiti gives criminals the impression that residents don't care about their neighborhood, and a neighborhood that doesn't care is an easy target for crime. Don't let this happen to your neighborhood- take a stand against graffiti and make sure graffiti is removed as soon as it appears. It takes persistence, but by working with law enforcement and other residents, you can keep your neighborhood clean and the effects of vandalism to a minimum.

The Price We Pay

More Than Money

Who Vandalizes and Why?

Some vandals work in groups. You may even know some of the teens doing the damage - there's no one "type" of teen who vandalizes. He or she might be the smartest kid in school, or the kid who's always in trouble. Most vandals are young people - from grade schoolers to teens to young adults - who vandalize out of

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