It can be hard to deter vandals from targeting your home, but there are measures you can take.
For example, security lighting can help ward off intruders at night. You can choose from lights that can be switched on all night or detector lights that are triggered by movement. If streetlights are not working in your area, you should report them to the local council.
Lock doors and windows
Vandalism is a form of criminal damage and is often associated with theft or burglary. Don’t make your home tempting to thieves – lock doors and windows especially when out and at night, hide valuables from view and keep garden equipment safely locked up in outbuildings and sheds. You can also make gates and fences more secure to help keep intruders out.
A burglar alarm can help ward off vandals as well as thieves. A burglar alarm box on the outside of your home lets vandals know that your home is protected by security measures and can alert you, your neighbours and the police if anyone tries to damage or break into your home.
Protect your letterbox
Whether damaging your property or committing a childish prank, vandals could target your letterbox by posting various missiles or even burning objects. You can help prevent this kind of activity with a tough sprung letterbox, or one with draught excluders that make it harder to insert large objects.
Acting as a community can keep you alert to threatening activities and help reduce vandalism and other criminal activities in your area. You can do this by joining a neighbourhood watch scheme.
Support local youth schemes
According to the 2018/19 Youth Justice Statistics, 11% of offences committed by youths were related to criminal damage. Many offenders cite boredom, revenge or drink and drugs as reasons for their acts. Getting youths off the streets by helping to provide better leisure and education facilities in your area could address the root cause of vandalism in your area.
Talk to your local school
If youths or children are behind vandalism to your home or in your area, talk to your local school and see what they are doing to help educate children against carrying out these kinds of criminal activities.
Teachers and parents can also work together to help children understand the damage and stress that vandalism can cause – and remind them that fines and prison sentences can be the end result of such anti-social behaviour.
You should report any vandalism or associated criminal activities that affect your property to the police immediately. Keep a camera and notebook on hand to document any evidence. This will also help with any claims you need to make on your insurance.
Get home insurance
Although it can't stop your home from being vandalised, having insurance can help put your mind at ease a little. Most policies include cover against vandalism and malcious damage to the building of your home and the contents inside.
However, your home isn't usually covered for damage caused by paying tenants or guests – so vet them carefully. You're also not covered for vandalism if you, or any adult living with you, has had home insurance refused, cancelled or declared null and void or had special terms imposed, or if you have any unspent criminal convictons (other than motoring convictions).
Your property might also not be covered for vandalism if you leave it unoccupied for more than 30 days in a row, so be sure to step up security if you're going away and ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your home.