MOUNT VERNON — Vandalism in the city was a topic of conversation between Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis, Mount Vernon Police Chief Michael K. Merrilees and MVPD Capt. George Hartz.
From their meeting, Mavis said there has not been an increase in vandalism from previous years but the sporadic activity could be lessened in a collaborative effort.
“We have been fortunate that the vast majority of our crimes have been minor violations of law, but we continue to look for better ways to respond to them,” Merrilees said in a press release issued Thursday.
Police data from records dating Jan. 1, to Dec. 1, show 235 vandalism reports were filed with the MVPD. These incidents revealed personal property, residential, commercial and other structures were involved in some form of vandalism.
The city defines vandalism by the definition of the Ohio Revised Code section 2909.05 which states, “no person shall knowingly cause serious physical harm to an occupied structure or any of its contents. (B) No person shall knowingly cause physical harm to property that is owned or possessed by another...” The law is further classified in section 2909.06 and 2909.07 to specifically identify objects of personal, commercial and government property that does not belong to the subject issuing the physical harm. This can include “knowingly move, deface, damage, destroy, or otherwise improperly tamper with property of another...” without having permission to do so. The code also states, “no person shall cause, or create a substantial risk of physical harm to any property of another without the other person’s consent...”
Citizens play an important role in crime prevention, according to Merrilees.