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The cost of vandalism in Vaasa can amount to as much as €150,000 annually: ”This sum could be used for the benefit of young people”

Published: 23.5.2024

The City of Vaasa has launched a multi-year project aimed at finding ways to prevent vandalism in collaboration with young people. Young people are invited to participate in brainstorming sessions to devise both measures to prevent vandalism and ideas on how to use the saved funds.

In a joint development project between Youth Services and Municipal Engineering, new action models are being created to prevent vandalism.

The approach is to use the carrot rather than the stick. If vandalism can be reduced in the city, young people will have a say in how the saved funds could be utilised.

– For instance, about €50,000 is spent annually on removing stickers and graffiti tags from bins, bridge railings, traffic signs, bus shelters, and lampposts. With this money, we could develop the urban environment in ways desired by young people, says project coordinator Joni Paaso.

We have approximately 500 litter bins in Vaasa, and most of them suffer some form of vandalism. If a vandalised litter bin cannot be cleaned with washing and cleaning agents, but instead needs to be completely repainted, the total cost is around 200 euros.

General Upper Secondary students brainstorm methods to prevent vandalism

In workshops, young people brainstorm ways to reduce and prevent vandalism.

The first workshops were held in April. During the Playful Democracy Week, students from Vasa Gymnasium and Vasa Övningsskola Gymnasium, including the IB programme, brainstormed how vandalism could be reduced and prevented.

– In the future, workshops could be held, for example, at youth centres. The Youth Council is also involved in the project as the voice of young people, says Youth Service Coordinator Anne Lamminen.

Young people working in the summer to survey vandalism and make repairs

Engaging and employing young people are crucial parts of the project. Municipal Engineering will employ several young people in June, as well as individuals of various ages throughout the year, to carry out concrete work related to the project, such as cleaning and repairs.

– Young summer employees will, among other things, map vandalised areas in the city, Paaso explains.

Report vandalism

The City of Vaasa has an email address,, where residents can directly report any vandalism that they observe in the city. Suggestions for preventing vandalism are also welcome at the same address.

The Mischief-Free Carrot initiative, funded by the Regional State Administrative Agency for 2024 with €45,000, will continue until 2027.