Teens face a unique set of challenges in modern society. Whether it’s dealing with a difficult home life or just feeling misunderstood, it can be easy for teens to feel like they’re the only ones in their position. What’s worse is when this feeling leads them to make poor choices that negatively impact themselves and society.
Regardless of their situation, they may desire to paint or draw something. This can be an outlet for creativity and self-expression, but it also can lead them down the path to vandalism.
Teen vandalism can be discouraging if it is noticeable and persistent. Teenagers who vandalize property in public places such as parks or schools are more likely to commit serious crimes later in life.
The following actions can deter teens from committing criminal damage
1) Provide areas where graffiti is tolerated
Establishing previously designated areas for graffiti helps teens feel like they are doing something that has value. This allows them to express their creativity without committing vandalism.
2) Deter loitering
There are ways to deter teens from loitering in a specific area. For example, the Mosquito speaker emits a high-frequency noise that only those under-25s can hear. This noise irritates, thereby deterring teens from loitering. The noise is harmless, and the device can be programmed to emit its sound at specific times. This has the benefit of allowing people to choose exactly when the sound is emitted, allowing nuisance behavior to be targeted.
3) Offer legal outlets for creativity
Several websites offer legal platforms for creativity. These sites allow artists to share their work and receive critiques from other users. Teens can get valuable feedback from professionals, allowing them to improve their work.
4) Police presence
Having a police car in the vicinity or a police officer walking his/her beat can deter vandalism. People who witness vandalism are more likely to report it if they know the offender is likely to be caught. This is especially true of teens who may think twice before committing an offense if they know that there is a possibility of getting caught by an authority figure.
5) Neighborhood watch schemes
Neighbors and friends can help deter graffiti by reporting it. The scheme involves a group of people who watch out for each other’s property and report any vandalism to the authorities. If a group is already in place, then the group leader can post a sign that encourages neighborhood members to call them with any concerns.
6) Enlist teens in building community projects
Teens who work on community projects feel like they’re contributing something positive. They are not only helping themselves by getting their hands dirty; they’re also helping others. This gives them a sense of purpose, making it easier to deal with the challenges they face at home.
To prevent vandalism, teenagers must be shielded from the negative influence of others. They should be encouraged to pursue positive alternatives such as outdoor activities, creating art, and staying healthy through sport. Establishing safe places for teens to express their creativity will allow them to deal with any frustrations they may feel without resorting to vandalism. Enlisting the support of parents and community figures will ensure that positive influences surround teens. Finally, parents should talk with their children about their choices in clothing.