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Vandalism and Its Impact on the Rural Victim - The Case of the United States

NCJ Number
J F Donnermeyer; G H Phillips
Date Published
41 pages
Among the rural population in the United States, vandalism is the most frequently occurring crime, often resulting in direct economic loss to the victim.
Vandalism is more likely to occur to property targets accessible from roadways and increases perceived vulnerability to violent crime. The paper examines vandalism with reference to its impact on the victim. Evidence presented is based on a series of rural victim studies conducted by the National Rural Crime Prevention Center on crime committed against public, commercial, and private property. The paper reports on vandalism's frequency of occurrence, assesses the economic cost of vandalism, and delineates the temporal and spatial patterns of vandalism. The paper concludes that in many ways, vandalism is the rural equivalent of street mugging in urban areas. Recommended areas of research include vandalism's impact, deterrents to vandalism, and educational approaches to use in providing information to the public on avoiding victimization. Study data and 16 references are provided. Data collection procedures are appended. (Author summary modified)