Costs of School Vandalism in the UK SoarsPosted 3rd March 2016 by Helen LeachRecent reports highlighting the soaring costs of vandalism in schools underline the need for education authorities to invest in better security measures.
The BBC reports that in 2015 over £1 million was spent repairing vandalism in Scottish schools alone. In fact, the total could be well over £1m as some Scottish councils failed to submit figures – including the largest, Glasgow..
In Wales, between 2008 and 2011 the cost of school vandalism was at least £1.2m. Figures for England and Northern Ireland are unavailable but could be even higher.
Common vandalism includes broken windows, graffiti and stolen metal. It costs taxpayers and councils money they can ill afford in ongoing repairs and that cost is rising. In Edinburgh alone it has doubled from £36,635 in 2013/14 to £82,768 in 2014/15.
As a result, in Scotland the Conservatives are calling for improved security in schools to make long terms savings, a call that is likely to gain support both in Scotland and the rest of the UK as vandalism costs continue to rise.
“These are supposed to be places of learning for future generations, but instead too many criminals see them as fair game for hooliganism,” said Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont.
“There is also a cost to the taxpayer, and that is money that could be reinvested in a far better way, not least in education.
“Perhaps security could be improved in these schools to ensure money can be saved in the long term.”
Damage to windows and doors makes up a large percentage of the cost of school vandalism yet there are measures that can be taken now at a reasonable cost that could save thousands if not millions in the long term.
A range of security products are available to prevent vandalism to windows and doors, ranging from the highly effective roller shutters through the aesthetically neutral window security grille to virtually unbreakable glass.
Roller shutters for doors and windows are an extremely capable defence against damage from vandals. By covering the entirety of the doors and windows vandals have no way of causing damage. However, with so many external doors and windows in schools it’s not always a practical solution for the whole site.
There is also the aesthetics to consider. Covering every door and window in a school with roller shutters may not be the ideal choice for an environment of learning. So while roller shutters are suitable protection against vandalism in non-public areas for those reasons alternatives are perhaps required in public areas.
Protection from the likes of Cardea’s own Crime Shield, a perforated metal screen that fits into the frame of the window, covering the glass, is an ideal solution. Crime Shield looks just like part of the window, giving a tinted effect and preserving the aesthetic appearance of the school, while protecting from vandalism and even burglary.
Lastly, in areas where visible security measures are unwanted, virtually unbreakable glass is the solution. Cardea’s own Hammer Glass has been tested to withstand 72 blows from an axe and would easily withstand any form vandalism.
As the cost of vandalism in schools continues to rise in the UK, it makes sense for local authorities and educational institutions to consider investing in these security measures to reduce or eliminate vandalism in the long term.