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1 Vandalism

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Objective

This report has several objectives:

• Define vandalism
• To analyse the social problem of vandalism in Malaysia
• Consider what makes people commit acts of vandalism
• Examine the impact on the community
• Discuss strategies to prevent vandalism

1.2 Structure of the report

This report start with define the meaning of one of the social problems in Malaysia which is
vandalism and more information about vandalism.

The body include the main causes of vandalism, impact of the problem to our society and the
ways to solve this problem.

Under conclusion, we summarize all the main points and make some appropriate
recommendations in order to prevent social problem of vandalism in our society from
become worse.

1.3 Vandalism

Vandalism is the intentional abuse, damage or destruction of any portion of someone else's
property or common or shared property such as our residential facilities, furnishings or
public property. Though vandalism is usually the result of a deliberate act, it
can also occur as a result of neglect or lack of consideration for fellow residents.
It includes behavior such as breaking windows, slashing tires, spray painting on
public places with graffiti, removing an exit sign and etc. Vandalism is a
malicious act and may reflect personal ill will, although the perpetrators need
not know their victim to commit vandalism. The recklessness of the act imputes
both intent and malice.

Because the destruction of public and private property poses a threat to society,
modern statutes make vandalism a crime. The penalties upon conviction may be
a fine, a jail sentence, an order to pay for repairs or replacement, or all three. In


addition, a person who commits vandalism may be sued in a civil tort action for
damages so that the damaged property can be repaired or replaced.

2.0 Vandalism

A problem that occurs in most states is vandalism. Vandalism is a growing national

problem. Last year this senseless crime cost United States Citizens over one billion dollars.
Vandalism is a problem that gets to everyone in some form or another. It can affect your
family, friends, property, community, and your pocketbook. The more you know about
vandalism, the more you can make it a crime that is more trouble than it's worth.
Over one half of all the crimes associated with vandalism occurs in high schools. There is no
typical vandal. Vandals can be good or bad students, girls or boys, whites or blacks, rich or
poor. The largest age group arrested for vandalism is between 13 and 14. However, children
as young six and seven vandalize schools and park areas. Teenagers with growing-up
problems act destructively by destroying vehicles, spray-painting graffiti on public places,
etc. Older youths often commit more serious acts such as damaging vehicles or machinery,
burglary, arson or theft.Although most vandals do not have a clear motive for their
acts, studies show that basic social problems and attitudes are at the root of the
vandalism. Among the many explanations for the crime are anger against
society, boredom, drug and alcohol abuse, disciplinary problems, personal
problems and racial/political conflicts.
Police, fire and emergency services are affected by increased workloads and
false alarms. Also, facilities, such as parks and public rest rooms which everyone
in the community uses, become vandalized. Vandalism affects your pocketbook
too. People pay their taxes for a reason, to build a better community for the
future generation. When the community is vandalized, the people are the ones
who have to pay for someone else's damage.
Vandalism is still and will always be a growing problem unless we do something
about it. We need to keep our kids off the streets, make sure you educate them
about vandalism by telling then that is wrong and can lead to...


School vandalism: individual and social context.

by Tamar Horowitz , David Tobaly

Various disciplines such as psychology and sociology have examined vandalism from different
perspectives, and it is difficult to reach consensus on a definition. Nevertheless, some of the
definitions have common elements, such as: "an intentional act aimed at damaging or destroying
an object that is another's property" (Moser, 1992); "a voluntary degradation of the environment
with no profit motive whatsoever, the results of which are considered damage by the actor(s) as
well as the victim in relation to the norms that govern the situation" (Goldstein, 1996, p. 19); and
"the willful or malicious destruction, injury, disfigurement, or defacement of property without
the consent of the owner" (Casserly, Bass, & Garrett, 1982, p. 4). Most of the definitions
highlight intentionality, destructiveness, and property ownership. This form of destructive
behavior is thus motivated not by profit but by other factors. Cohen (1984) suggests that acts of
vandalism are motivated by anger, boredom, catharsis, erosion of alrea dy damaged objects, or
aesthetic factors.
Research on vandalism is divided into two categories. Some studies look at vandalism from the
point of view of the individual who commits it: personal traits, difficulties in adjusting to society
at large and to school in particular, and emotional problems. This perspective is derived mainly
from epidemiological studies. Other studies look at vandalism in a broader social context.
Research on vandalism as a social phenomenon began in the 1930s with ecological studies by the
Chicago School. Vandalism was explained as a malaise of modern society that is characterized
by alienation and meaninglessness. Zimbardo (1969) used the term deindividuation to describe a
situation in which individuals lose their uniqueness. According to Zimbardo, the malaise of
modern society is related to a high level of social mobility, rapid growth, and instability. Erikson
looked at modern society from the point of view of adolescents who experience social mores and
values inconsistently and therefore become involved in nonnormative b ehavior.
According to Casserly, Bass, and Garrett (1982), the social explanations of vandalism until the
1970s were too amorphous and unfocused; consequently, their explanatory power was limited. A
new line of explanations began to look at specific institutions, one of them being school.
Pioneering research on school violence and school vandalism--the Safe School Study--was
conducted in the mid-1970s (U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1978). The
study, carried out in approximately 25,000 schools throughout the United States, examined
objective parameters as well as subjective ones (i.e., students' perceptions). The objective
parameters found to have an effect on school vandalism were school size, age of the student
population, teacher turnover, and parental support for the school's discipline policy. The salient
subjective parameters were the students' views of how their teachers function (e.g., how fair they
are, whether they use grades to exert power over students) and whether school rules are unambi
guous (U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1978).
Following this major study, research was conducted that focused on the connection between
vandalism and school effectiveness and climate. It was found that when school climate was not
positive and did not enhance students' social welfare, the rate of vandalism was high, and when
the school did not effectively promote learning, vandalism tended to increase (Zeisel, 1977). It
was also found that vandalism increased in schools where students did not have a sense of

Some researchers have emphasized teacher-student interaction as a causal variable (Heller &
White, 1975). Others have noted that tolerance, respect for others, and motivation to achieve are
important in mitigating vandalism (Dust, 1984; Geller, 1992). In an Israeli study, Horowitz and
Amir (1981) found that students who were involved in vandalism were socially marginal at
school; they felt alienated from school and were low achievers though not necessarily low in
terms of competence.

The present study on vandalism was carried out in 1999 in four high schools in a medium-sized
Israeli town. The students in these schools were representative of the social composition of
Israel. The research question was as follows: What factors influence destructive behavior by
students toward school property? Specifically, is motivation to participate in vandalism related to
personal background, perception of school as an institution, attitude toward teacher, school
anxiety, sense of hope, perception of school climate, and how discipline is applied?
Six hundred eighth and ninth graders responded to the questionnaire, which had six sections. The
first section dealt with attitudes toward school and toward the homeroom teacher. Both subscales
were adapted ...