September 28, 2020
Cemetery crime is not rare or unusual. Its causes vary from petty theft, vandalism, or racially and politically motivated crimes. While the motive may change, all locations must implement the same comprehensive cemetery crime prevention strategies to mitigate its effects.
Most cemeteries, and especially historic locations, are managed by companies with limited funds. Even cemeteries with considerable endowments are usually operated with high overhead and little leftover after maintenance costs and employees’ salaries. So, cemetery crimes are typically costly to reverse.
Being aware of cemetery crimes, including vandalism, helps to limit risk.
Preventing Crime and Vandalism
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, caused massive social unrest this past summer. But while most of the protests that followed were peaceful and civil, some turned violent as riots broke out and vandalism occurred.
But even without protests and riots, cemeteries are still targets for crimes and vandalism. The cheapest way to recover from cemetery vandalism is to prevent it from the start. Documentation of any cemetery’s statues is of utmost importance regarding identify crimes. Regular scanning and documentation by photographing any property proves to be invaluable in controlling vandalism. Measured drawings, maps, and databases are the elements that protect a cemetery from thousands of dollars in potential damage.
Cemetery vandalism must be reported to local authorities when it occurs. While filing a police report may not bring about an arrest, it does create an important record for the cemetery authority and cemetery risk management insurance.
The Role of Alcohol and Drugs
Cemeteries that are located in more rural and remote areas are more prone to rowdy behavior. This makes them susceptible to activities like drug dealing, alcohol and drug use, and partying, especially at nighttime. A cemetery risk management plan should include enough security to keep an eye on this kind of behavior, discouraging these risks from happening.
Dealing with Disruption
While not as common as other crimes, cemeteries are still open to incidents that disrupt a funeral in progress, including protestors or fights. With a cemetery risk management plan that includes regular monitoring and surveillance, cemeteries limit these disruptions so families can honor their families and pay their respects peacefully.
Theft is a significant problem at cemeteries. Without the right security level, people may steal items such as flowers, mementos, nameplates, and urns. Most theft cases don’t involve high-value items, but they still negatively affect the sentiment that people have with those buried there. In some instances, memorial plaques are targeted by people who want to sell the metal for a profit. If this kind of theft occurs, cemeteries may be responsible for repaying owners.
About Regan Agency
A family-owned business, Long Island-based Regan Agency, has more than 35 years of experience serving the library insurance and risk management needs of Tri-State residents and businesses. We have earned the trust of our clients based on our integrity and commitment to offer individuals and businesses quality library insurance products at competitive prices backed by unparalleled responsive service. Just give one of our professionals a call at 631-669-3434.