Criminal damage occurs when a person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another person. As well as breaking something, criminal damage can also include graffiti and arson.
Sometimes the damage is a one off incident, but it may also be repeated – which may become antisocial behaviour, bullying, or harassment. It may be targeted at you or your family because of your identity or perceived identity for example your race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or because of a disability. This is known as hate crime.
Criminal damage can be expensive as well as upsetting and common reactions include being worried, scared, angry or frustrated. If the damage happened at home you may be worried about leaving the property or coming back to the property.
Somethings to try include:
- Talking to someone you trust, a friend, family member or neighbour. Our caseworkers are also available to listen non judgmentally.
- If the criminal damage happens more than once, write down what has happened soon after the event (including times and dates) as long as it is safe to do so.
- If you’re worried or feel unsafe, take a look at some coping strategies and some personal safety advice.
- Think about reporting it to the police. If you think you are at immediate risk of getting hurt, call 999. Remember reporting is always your choice.