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School Vandalism Costing MIllions

Graffiti and other vandalism are costing the government tens of millions of euros a year, reports the educational periodical Opettaja. The clean-up bill in Helsinki alone is around a million euros, and the situation isn't any better in the rest of the capital city region.

Töhritty koulun seinä Kuopiossa.
Image: Pohjois-Savon poliisi

Spring fever apparently plays a role, as graffiti begins to appear on schools and day cares in the warming weather of evenings and weekends. Vandals have their preferred spots, returning often to certain areas of certain schools.

Opettaja magazine reports that vandalism is becoming more violent as well. Youth are increasingly inclined to break windows, damage buildings and destroy anything that isn't bolted down, according to the magazine.

In Helsinki, for example, school air condoning vents and pumps have been damaged, and drains stuffed to cause flooding and water damage.

Opettaja's editor-in-chief Hanna Laaksonen feels that authorities don't take the problem seriously enough. Budgetary concern often prevent the use of security cameras or a patrolling guard service, but Laaksonen feels that it may be the only way to catch perpetrators.

She says that since the real culprits aren't caught, the cost of repairing the damage gets passed on to taxpayers.

Sources: YLE

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