Vandalism has been an issue with homeowners associations for as long as these communities have existed.
Like the old Bob Dylan song “The Vandals Took The Handles.“
Vandalism here in Seven Lakes has been relatively minor and easily repaired.. Or it can cause serious damage to common elements requiring closure and extensive repairs like graffiti and trashing the bathrooms.
Some very easy ways to limit vandalism. Meet your neighbors.Knowing who your neighbors are helps to create a strong community, to be sure. But, it also enables you to recognize people or elements that are NOT part of the community.
Utilize E-mail! Our HOA Board or Manager tocould send an announcement via email to residents if the community has experienced suspicious activity to let members know to be alert.
Talkto your children. Talk to your kids about their responsibility to help keep their community safe. Encourage them to recognize their neighbors. Take time to instill pride in their community and encourage habits that will help keep it clean, maintained, and safe.
Have the SLLA notify residents of our community that each homeowner is responsible for any act of vandalism, destruction, damage or misuse of property committed by any member or guest of his/her household.Living in a private neighborhood does not mean that you can’t have your friends come over for a visit. Consider briefing them on the gated community laws to ensure they abide by them while at your property
Make sure homeowners will be sent a violation notice for incident(s) and must speak with HOA Property Manager, HOA Board of Directors or appointed person(s) within 10 days.
Maybe we could offer areward that may be paid to any homeowner providing information that leads the HOA to the party(s) responsible for vandalism on Seven Lakes property.
The Property Manager, HOA Board or its appointee will determine the amount of the reward on a case-by-case basis.
Many communities with an entrance gate will experience some form of damage to the gate. There is no full proof system to prevent vandalism, but with these tips maybe our HOA Associations can prevent serious and repetitive damage from occurring.
Install more security cameras.Security cameras can be a useful tool to prevent vandalism. Most deviant souls are more likely to pass on criminal conduct if they know that their actions will be on video.
Significant improvements in technology make installing closed circuit video monitoring more attractive than ever to control maintenance and repair costs related to vandalism.
Closed circuit cameras can now video record on demand after detecting motion. These smaller, less cumbersome cameras with built-in communication devices can create a significant deterrent to would be vandals.
If our cameras are monitored, talk-down technology enables the monitoring service to talk to the vandals to let them know police have been dispatched to the area.
Even fake cameras can be a deterrent.However, there are rules associated with placing security cameras on common elements. The SLLA can approve where warranted legally.
Install Bright Lights in areas where vandalism has occurred.Light can be the vandal’s biggest deterrent. Vandals want to remain unseen. Therefore, keeping areas well-lit makes it difficult to commit acts of vandalism without detection. Because in their world, light is only good after they have done their damage. Consequently, proper lighting is the easiest and most important step to prevent vandalism. It is important to ask the opinion of an electrical contractor about our lighting to get the right lighting solution for the particular environment. Illuminating the conduct will most likely stop it.
Easy ingress and egress to a location makes the possibility of vandalism greater. When possible we could install fences and security gates around the perimeter of your common element locations to discourage intruders.
Posting no trespassing signage on them as well, along with signs that indicate video surveillance (whether you actually do or not!).
Plant shrubs and bushes to make it more difficult for criminals to reach their targets. Be sure to use plants with thorns and sharp jagged leaves and branches.
Clean up quickly after the damage has occurred.Vandals want to commit their act and have others see it.
This is particularly the case with graffiti. Quickly removing the evidence of their acts eliminates their ability to take credit and embolden their conduct. Clean it up as soon as you see it.
Repair or remove damaged items immediately. Don’t let them feel the pleasure of seeing their work. Get it off or move it as soon as possible.
Many communities make the mistake of thinking acts of vandalism are “too small” to report to the Sheriff’s office here in Moore County.. This is false.
Always remember large or small report it all. After all, the police are charged with protecting law-abiding citizens from criminals. When crimes are committed, police are responsible for capturing the suspects.
The police can only respond to reported crimes. Promptly reporting the act can result in the vandal’s arrest. At a minimum, timely reporting allows the police to increase presence in the area, to protect your neighbors and prevent your location from being hit again.
You can also ask for police to increase their patrol presence in the community. Ask the Sheriffif an officer is filling outpaperwork, if they can park at the front of the community. Also, hiring a private security firm can be an effective crime prevention solution.
For a more long-term measure when it comes to vandalism and crime prevention in an HOA, both the board and residents should look into working around crime safety. Tall hedges and big shrubs may look impressive, but they can also make it easy for unwanted visitors to hide.
In general, large pieces of landscaping should have a good distance away from buildings, to leave a safe gap. The HOA common areas and homeowner properties should have minimal dark spots during afternoons, especially at night.
Vandalism and Crime Prevention inour HOA Involves Everyone.A safe and secure community is a top priority for an HOA. Crime prevention in an HOA is best done as a community, with everyone aware and involved.