Criminal Damage


Did You Know

A quarter of 11-16 year olds admit to an act of railway vandalism

When someone commits criminal damage they are intentionally and deliberately choosing to destroy another persons property.

Vandalism describes the deliberate destruction or damage to public or private property.
Vandalism is often carried out in groups or pairs, rather than people on their own. It is often not recognised as a serious crime by those who commit it. You don’t need to damage something to be found guilty of vandalism, for example:
  • Carrying a brick with the view to through it at a window.
  • Threatening to damage someone’s stuff.
Racial vandalism is considered more serious than vandalism and is motivated by racial hatred.
Railway vandalism is also very serious. Throwing stones at trains, damaging property with graffiti or vandalising train stations and tracks all have huge safety implications for the passengers and users of the railway. The costs to the community for clearing up these acts of vandalism are reflected in the rising ticket prices.

Like vandalism, Graffiti is also a form of criminal damage. It can be pretty confusing topic to explore as some types of graffiti are considered to be respected art forms - however not the kind you find at train stations or on buses!

Some graffiti includes a stylised 'signature' - like an artist signing their portrait - in graffiti terms this is often called a tag. If someone is caught they can be arrested and charged under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 and if found guilty they could be given a fine or sent to prison.
The act of arson is to deliberately set fire to someone else’s property. Fires are easy to start yet difficult to control as they can spread very quickly and aggressively. Often in the case of a deliberate fire people's lives are at risk. Anyone found guilty of arson could go to prison under the Criminal Damage Act 1971.

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