|What is Criminal Damage?||
Criminal damage, often referred to as vandalism, is deliberately or recklessly destroying or damaging someone elses home, building, vehicle or other item. Racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage is deliberately or recklessly destroying or damaging a persons dwelling, building, vehicle or other item where there is a racial or religious motive. Criminal damage can also be seen as a catalyst to other forms of anti-social behaviour and crime.
|Who is affected?||
Criminal damage is frequently seen as a minor crime, but neglected physical environments are unsafe, cause fear and undermine pride in the local community. Criminal damage can also be seen as a catalyst to other forms of anti-social behaviour and crime. The biggest motivation for committing criminal damage was boredom. Other frequent responses were for the buzz, was drunk, revenge and annoyed/upset by someone. (OCJS 2004).
|What does it cost?||
The estimated average cost to an individual who has been a victim of criminal damage is thought to be approximately £850 (The Economic and Social Costs of Crime against Individuals and Households - Home Office On-Line Report 30/05). This includes an estimated cost of emotional impact.
|What help is available?||
As part of a target to reduce overall crime, the Home Office is working with partners to identify ways to tackle criminal damage and, in consultation with stakeholders, has developed a strategy and related action plan, of which information is available from the Home Office website. This offence currently accounts for just under a quarter of all British Crime Survey offences and a very difficult offence to detect.
|What is being done locally?||
High visibility policing during peak times and days in hotspot areas, the use of CCTV, environment clean up days and PACT meetings are all being used to combat criminal damage in the area.