Destructive actions against urban public property by minors is the most prevalent form of vandalism. Vandals can be senselessly destructive – breaking glass windows, tearing up paving stones, destroying parks, etc; their violence can be a by-product of street gang conflicts; or they can be reprisals against school and other public authorities. Modern vandalism in a number of cities has been abetted by the invention of the spray paint can and the resulting graffiti; covering over sprayed paint or removing it entails very high expenditure.
British Telecom loses £18 million a year in damaged public telephone equipment. All together vandalism cost the UK more than £1.8 billion a year in the end of 1980s.