What is vandalism?
- Vandalism is the act of damaging or destroying public or private properties and services.
- Vandalism costs public and private agencies a lot of money to repair and replace damaged items.
- Vandalism to properties and services may cost lives (e.g. public telephone functioning in times of emergency.
- Vandalism may be carried out alone or in a gang.
Why does vandalism occur?
- To get something e.g. money from payphone.
- To gain entry into prohibited premises.
- To express ideas and beliefs.
- To get revenge.
- To express frustrations against someone or some organisation.
- To get personal pleasure.
- To get acceptance from friends and gang members..
Why do teenagers join gangs?
Teenagers join gangs for various reasons including:
- Prestige / Status.
- Chance to make money and a living.
- Sense of belonging.
- Being forced to join (rarely).
What are other behaviours associated with vandalism?
- Teenagers who are involved in vandalism often have personal problems which may be :
- Some problems that may lead to acts of vandalism are :
- Skipping classes or school.
- Loitering (lepak) around in public places during and outside school hours.
- Oversleeping in the mornings and returning home late.
- Poor social skills.
- Seeking negative attention.
- Little contact with family or friends.
- Depression and other mental health problems.
- Family problems.
- Friendship problems.
- School problems.
- Problems with authorities and the law.
- Substance use and abuse.
What are the consequences of being a teen vandal?
- They tend to grow up into serious criminals who may also be violent offenders.
- They are also usually involved in other negative behaviours such as sexual harassment, aggression, theft and environmental pollution (e.g. inappropriate throwing of rubbish).
- They tend to get into trouble with school authorities.
- They tend to have negative school reports and this negatively affects their chances of succeeding in life.
How can you cope with urges to commit vandalism?
- Understand that it is a criminal offence.
- Ask yourself :
- How will destroying this property help you?
- What are the consequences of you damaging this property?
- What can you do to get help?
- Who can you call for help?
- Manage anger that is motivating the urge to vandalise. (See Anger management. )
- Cultivate appropriate and healthy problem solving skills. (See Decision making and Problem solving. )
- Find other more appropriate methods of problem solving to replace the need for vandalism. (See Social skills and Communication skills )
- Seek help from others when faced with problems.
- Keep yourself occupied with healthier and low-risk activities (e.g. exercise, sports, hobbies and volunteer work).
- Stay away from friends who vandalise.
- Monitor your urges on paper and try to minimise your behaviour bit by bit.
- See a counselor or a psychologist for help.
|Last Reviewed||:||27 April 2012|
|Content Writer||:||Prof. Madya Dr. Alvin Ng Lai Oon|
|Reviewer||:||Dr. Wan Fadhilah bt. Wan Ismail|
|:||Dr. Salmiah bt. Md. Sharif|