Vandalism is deliberate destruction of, or damage to, public or private property. The definition of vandalism can be hostile behavior aimed at damaging or destroying an object, damage to or destruction of an object to achieve other goals, and behavior motivated by a desire to express oneself through the degradation of objects. Some people may also vandalize as a means of enjoyment (known as play vandalism)
Some vandalism may qualify as culture jamming or sniggling: some think of it as artistic in nature even though it is carried out illegally or without the property owner's permission. Examples include some graffiti art, billboard "liberation", and possibly crop circles. Criminal vandalism is viewed differently and takes other forms. Graffiti on public property is common in many inner cities as part of gang culture, for example, where it may be used as a territorial marker. Rioting is also considered criminal as it can involve the willful destruction of public and private property especially during times of public unrest. Vandalism is sometimes considered one of the less serious common crimes, but it can become quite serious and distressing when committed extensively, violently, or as an expression of hatred and intimidation. In response, local governments have adopted various legal measures to prevent vandalism, although research has shown that they are not very effective.
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