Graffiti, which usually involves an individual using spraypaint to illegally 'tag' a name or symbol, is an expensive problem in America.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that it costs up to $18 billion per year to tackle graffiti and costs the public and private sectors $30 million annually in cleanup operations.
The presence of graffiti at job sites is more than just a nuisance; it can have a lasting impact and could be a sign your site is likely to be targeted for more severe crimes in the future.
When it comes to construction sites, it's not just the cost of damaged equipment or cleanup expenses - graffiti can lead to lost productivity and project delays.
Recent examples of sites shut down due to graffiti include:
Utah job site hit twice by racist graffiti closed for three days - source
Ohio job site shut down due to racist graffiti - source
Cincinnati FC construction project closed due to racist graffiti - source
Delays to construction projects can cost an average of $45k per day, so the impact of the graffiti at these sites has had severe ramifications.
Understanding why jobs sites are targeted for graffiti requires us to understand the key motivating factors behind the prevalence of graffiti.
The three key reasons behind acts of illegal graffiti are:
1. Politics/Ideology: The news stories we listed above all involved sites being targeted by racist messages. Individuals used the job sites to express their views at the high cost of site closures and damage to property.
2. Gang Affiliation: Gangs may target your job sites as a means of marking their specific territory. Seeing gang tags on your job sites should be of immediate concern as those responsible may return to engage in higher-level criminal activity such as theft, vandalism, and arson.
3. Self Promotion: This group considers graffiti to be artwork rather than petty vandalism. They are likely to 'tag' their name or larger pieces of graffiti at your sites.
As for why construction sites are targeted, the sad reality is that many engaged in this activity see construction sites as an easy target due to the lack of adequate security measures.
The information below, taken from WCCTV's Comprehensive Guide to Construction Site Security, provides construction project managers with an overview of protecting job sites from vandals.
For a more detailed insight, please download the complete guide or reach out to one of WCCTV's security experts to discuss how we can help.
Limiting access to your site by installing fencing around the perimeter and ensuring all gates are locked is a simple way to keep taggers from getting onto your sites.
Ensure that the fenced area is kept clear of any debris that a tagger could use to aid them in jumping the fence.
While fencing will go a long way to protecting your sites, it won't keep the most hardened criminal out; for that reason, we suggest the next important step.
At WCCTV, we believe our mobile video surveillance units are the most effective way to secure your sites, although they offer multiple other benefits.
Key benefits of WCCTV systems include:
Total 360-degree views of your site from heights of 20ft
Remote video monitoring from security professionals who will verify threats at your site in real-time and take appropriate crime prevention measures
Infrared, thermal imaging video cameras, and advanced video analytics to protect your sites in zero-light conditions
Free access to WCCTV's desktop and mobile apps allows access to your cameras any time, anywhere, from any device
Up to 85% cost reductions vs using security guards
These benefits can work for your job site as part of a customized security service that meets your requirements. Reach out to our job site security team by clicking the link below.
The mindset of a tagger is to find a location covered in darkness at night time but has high visibility during the day so that people can see their tags.
A simple deterrent for this is to install temporary lighting structures around your construction site that will remove their opportunity to work under cover of darkness.
Motioned activated lights are perfect for this application, as they will have the impact of startling the offender when they try to access your sites.
Suppose your construction project is in an urban environment or involves housing developments. In that case, it may be possible to reach out to residents groups or a neighborhood watch to alert them to the issues.
For more advice on how to protect your job sites, click the link below to download our free Comprehensive Guide to Construction Site Security.
WCCTV is the USA's leading provider of fully-managed surveillance cameras for construction sites. Our equipment and services are designed to detect, deter, and defend your sites from criminal activity such as graffiti.
Our market-leading surveillance cameras are supplied with a managed service that includes equipment installation, remote monitoring services, maintenance, and ongoing US-based technical support.
They can be deployed to any site, regardless of your current power and Wi-Fi availability. Every WCCTV surveillance unit has built-in 4G LTE transmission technology and can be fully solar-powered, making them entirely autonomous.
Please fill out the form below to start your download.