Vandalism means the defacement and destruction of property belonging to others. Whether it be for revenge, envy or vicarious thrills, vandalism is a disgusting practice that costs the community many millions of dollars every year, not to mention the outrage and anxiety that affects people whose property has been vandalised.
Vandals always have one thing in common - that they do not care what damage they do to the property of their victims, but they are always the first to whine whenever their own precious property is damaged by others.
This disgraceful practice is very damaging because graffiti is often very difficult and expensive to remove and rectifying the damage to buildings and public areas costs the Australia community a fortune every year. It has also resulted in the government passing laws that restrict the purchase of spraycans of paint and these innocuous items are now treated as dangerous weapons. But somehow or other, graffiti "artists" who are not artists at all, seem to manage to get their hands on plenty of spray paint, as proven by the sheer amount of graffiti on buildings, houses, bridges, trains and buses.
Many car owners, especially of those expensive luxury vehicles have suffered the deliberate disfigurement of their cars by people who scratched them from end to end with keys or other sharp objects. This "keying" costs a lot of money to repair, especially to a vehicle such as a Porsche that may have 24 layers of paint. A quick act of vandalism by a passer-by with a key can cost the owner of an expensive car a figure in excess of $10,000 to rectify the damage. This is purely and simply the result of envy, that the vandals are jealous of people who have worked hard and thus been able to afford luxury vehicles.
In Australia, the penalties imposed on vandals and graffitists who are caught are so unsubstantial and lenient that they are an insult to their victims. A graffitist can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage to a building and most likely, a magistrate will let him off with a caution or a community service order making him clean up some graffiti. In many cases, those community orders are ignored by the perpetrators anyway. The same goes for people who key expensive cars, yet get away almost scot-free.
Some nations have a far better way of dealing with vandals and graffitists. Singapore has a rather Draconian way of handling these bastards and it works. Anybody who visits Singapore always comments on how wonderfully clean, pristine and graffiti-free this city state looks. Why? The reason is that Singapore literally scares the daylights out of anybody even thinking of committing an act of vandalism.
Singapore punishes vandals and graffitists by caning them using a stick called the Rotan, which is a rattan cane around 1.3cm in diameter. The offender is tied to a frame and an official administers the beating with as much strength as he can muster. Recipients of the Rotan caning have stated that it was the most painful thing that they had ever experienced and they all swore that they would never put themselves in the position of being punished like that again. The beauty of this corporal punishment is that it works. Singapore is a jewel of city and graffiti and vandalism is virtually unheard of, along with littering and other socially offensive practices.
The problem with Australia is that it is far too weak and politically correct to employ the "Singapore Solution" to vandalism and graffiti, so hence wherever one goes in urban areas of Australia, one will see buildings, bridges and private property defaced by graffiti and cars damaged and vandalised. The offenders know that even if they are caught, the penalties are so weak and meaningless, that in many cases, it has been found that graffitists have walked out of court and re-offended the same day. So if Australia doesn't have the collective backbone to do the same as Singapore, how can vandalism be deterred and beaten?
Most vandals and graffitists are teenagers. Nearly all of them own smartphones, computers, game consoles such as XBox, trendy clothes, cars and other treasured possessions. So instead of giving these bastards a slap on the wrist, a far more effective solution is at hand - the Hotheads Eye For An Eye Solution.
So when a vandal or graffitist is convicted, the magistrate should issue a court order that is valid for the next five years. This will allow the victim of the vandalism or the police to immediately seize the possessions of the offender and summarily either destroy them in front of him or sell them to cover the cost of repairing the vandalism or graffiti - his smartphone, game console, trendy clothes, cars and anything else that the victim chooses. Not only that, the court order would allow this to occur at any random time again within the next five years and it would cover anything in his possession, whether it belonged to him or somebody else.
So imagine a vandal or graffitist not only losing everything of value to him immediately he is convicted of his crimes, but being petrified that anything he accumulates or even borrows in the next five years would be subject to random seizure, destruction or sale. He would be too damn scared to buy or borrow a phone, computer or even a car. None of his friends would be game to lend him any of these items either when they know that they could permanently lose them. This punishment would bring the whole vandalism and graffiti problem to an end.
Vandalism and graffiti is a dreadful social problem and the current treatment of these criminals in Australia is stupidly lenient and completely ineffective. If the government is too weak and stupid to adopt the "Singapore Solution" here, then the only way to deal with vandals and graffitists is by doing to them what they do to their victims - destroy everything that they treasure and keep doing it for five years. If that doesn't deter them, nothing will.