Almost £70,000 every single day: the cost of vandalism in Scotland

VANDALS have caused more than £15 million worth of damage in Scotland in just seven months, new figures have revealed.

The statistics - released by Scottish police forces - showed that 42,567 crimes of vandalism were committed across Scotland between 1 January and 31 July this year.

The crimes include children's playparks being damaged, buildings being set ablaze and parked cars being smashed to pieces - coming to an overall cost of 15,464,133.46.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Bill Aitken, Conservative justice spokesman, said the figures were an "appalling indictment" of those responsible.

He said: "What an appalling waste of money. Councils and governments provide play facilities, leisure and recreational activities, yet a number of moronic individuals decide to cause this level of destruction.

"Just think what could be done with over 15 million.

"This is an appalling indictment on those that cause this mindless destruction and I hope the courts punish them as severely as possible."

Richard Baker, the Labour justice spokesman, added: "These are shocking figures. It's particularly saddening to see it cost so much money to so many people when times are tight.

"You also have to think when there's this sort of damage done to playparks, it is councils who will have to foot the bill."

Some of the worst cases include vandals who caused almost 50,000 of damage at Donald Trump's Aberdeenshire golf course, destroying two mechanical diggers and contaminating 3,000 litres of fuel.

In another incident, Daniel Carlin, 19, caused more than 4,000 worth of damage after writing graffiti on dozens of road signs as he walked along the A9 near Gleneagles in April this year. Sheriff Robert McCreadie told him at Perth Sheriff Court that he would have to repay every penny for his "childish, puerile, stupid, idiotic, immature behaviour".

Strathclyde Police, the country's largest police force, had the most crimes of vandalism from January to July this year with 24,076, causing 5,044,124 worth of damage.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The force was followed by Lothian and Borders, where 4,855 acts of vandalism cost 4,204,430, and Grampian Police, with 3,870 acts of vandalism, at a cost of 932,891.

Charlotte Linacre, the campaign manager of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "It is awful news that 15 million of taxpayers' money has to be spent on clearing up this mess.

"Not only are playgrounds and property being ruined and put out of action, but the taxpayer has to pick up the tab for fixing this destruction.

"More should be done within communities to discourage this behaviour and stop so much reckless damage swallowing up money that could have been left in taxpayers' pockets."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "People and businesses in Scotland should not have to spend their time and money clearing up the mess that vandals leave in their wake.

"Substantial progress has been made in dealing with this problem, and amid a 32-year low in recorded crime, vandalism dropped 15 per cent last year to stand at its lowest level since 2001."

Related topics: