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Some estates in Singapore have to contend with the problem of vandalism. The vandalism could range from childish drawings on walls to hardcore nails or screws in car tyres.

About a year ago, it was reported that a condominium in the west had a vandal who went around puncturing the residents’ car tyres with screws. There were other acts of vandalism like headlights being smashed, scratches on the body work and glue on car bonnets. In some other condominiums, paint could be splashed on cars and the car keyholes filled with hardened cement. The list is endless.

Who are these vandals and what motivated them to do what they did? Most of the time, it is the work of some mischievous children. In such an instance, the damage is normally quite mild. Sometimes bad blood between neighbours can degenerate into vandalism. Even jostles for power in Management Councils could result in one party vandalising the other party’s property. The latter situation is one when the vandalism act is most damaging.

Most of the time, estates would report the matter to the Police and hope that they are able to trace who the vandal is. But without hard evidence, it is not easy to catch the culprit. Thus, many Councils install CCTVs in the hope that the CCTVs would be able to capture the act of vandalism as evidence. But that has limitations. Most of the CCTVs can only target at main areas. Areas like the space between cars at the car park cannot be captured. A smart vandal normally would study the CCTV layout first before taking action. CCTV implementation is costly and may not be 100% effective. However, it does offer some historical help if the vandalism so happens to be at areas the CCTV was covering.

Harmonious relationships between residents would go a long way to minimise, if not prevent such vandalism from happening. Thus, Councils should pay more attention to creating a harmonious living environment in their estates.

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