Criminal Damage is the highest volume of all the various crime types that the Partnership deals with. This is what we used to call plain old vandalism. It is now recorded under different categories of Criminal Damage. All forms of Criminal Damage account for approximately 40% of all recorded crime. There are 25 different categories of criminal damage, although this breaks down into the main groups of Damage to a House, Damage to a Vehicle or Damage to Other Property.
Some criminal damage is extremely serious; other incidents that get recorded are of a minor nature. Criminal Damage ranges from smashed bus shelter glass to scratched cars to small graffiti on Police cell doors. It is a frustrating crime to deal with, partly because of this range and partly because it is usually driven by mindless behaviour rather than a need to steal to get money. It is very often fuelled by excess alcohol. The various costs associated with investigating criminal damage, added to the costs of repair, mean that criminal damage in Wigan borough last year is estimated to have cost the staggering total of £ 6.5 million.
How are we doing?
Criminal Damage is slowly reducing. Maybe because more people are drinking alcohol on a regular basis it has proved very difficult to make a substantial impact on the overall volume. But there are signs that the range of tactics that the Partnership uses against criminal damage are beginning to take effect.
Criminal Damage Performance
Number of reported crimes per Crime Type
April 03 to March 04
April 04 to March 05
April 05 to March 06
April 06 to March 07
% Change 03/04 to 06/07
|Damage to Dwellings
|| 11.25 |
|Damage to Other Buildings
|Damage to Vehicles
|All Criminal Damage
What you can do?
- Keep your property as well protected and under surveillance as possible. If you have a garage, then use it. If you have lights, use them sensibly. Where you are able to park off street or under light, do so. Maintain your gardens and curtelages as well as possible. Unkempt or disused sites tend to attract vandalism
- Plenty of more minor criminal damage is caused by young people. If you are parents, please point out the probable consequences of your child being caught for such an offence. This may include an £80.00 on the spot fine and or a criminal record following an appearance in Court. Do you know where your teenagers are tonight and are you confident that you have had this conversation with them and that they will respect your advice?
- If you know who has caused criminal damage local to you - Report it in confidence to Crime stoppers 0800 555 111
What are we doing?
Criminal damage is one of the four priority crimes that the Partnership keeps under constant review. Where our analysis shows up specific problems the Partnership will always try to "problem - solve." What this means is that the detail of the problem is analyzed for any patterns or traits. Solutions are devised and implemented on the back of that analysis. A good example is bus shelters that are persistently smashed. Here the Partnership has deployed covert CCTV in a bid to catch the offenders. Other measures that the Partnership has used are outlined below.
- The Alley gating Program is likely to reduce criminal damage as well as Burglary by returning these spaces to residents and encouraging greater use of the space by them. This should also have the benefit of reduced criminal damage by passers by or groups of young people with nothing better to do at that time.
- Police and Police Community Support Officers patrolling wherever there is an emerging "Hotspot".
- Assisting the youth services to promote a greater range of activities and constructive opportunities for young people.
- Promoting campaigns that raise public awareness on criminal damage and warn potential offenders of the consequences.
- Increasing the use of fixed penalty notices of £ 80.00 for criminal damage offences
- Stricter policing of the night-time economy "Hotspots"
Together we can make a difference
As Safe as We all Make It