BROKEN WINDOW THEORY
Broken Window Theory is the result of 'Broken Window', the title of an article by criminologist James Q. Wilson and George Kelling. Broken Windows Theory argues that a broken window left unrepaired will make a building look abandoned and will quickly attract vandals to break the other windows. Broken window theory suggests promoting beat form of policing on the basis that indicators of neighbourhood disrepair such as a broken window foster criminality.
Many jurisdictions in North America have adopted practices based on this Broken Window Theory perspective. Broken Window Theory is directed towards the prevention of crime by steps like keeping buildings in good repair, maintaining clean streets and responding effectively to petty street crime. New York crime and drug decline is one of the best example of a successful implementation of Broken Window Theory.
The logic of Broken Window Theory is that signs of neighbourhood decay lead residents to withdraw from public life of the neighbourhood and thereby reduce the efficacy of informal social control, leaving the area open for serious criminal misdemeanours.
The Broken Window Theory has inspired police departments in New York and other major cities to crack down on the small problems in order to keep out the big problems. Keeping buildings without broken windows and other small measures has reduced the serious crime level.
The Broken Window Theory has been implemented in many cities around the world, with some success. Broken Window Theory states that signs of disorder, like graffiti, dirty streets, broken windows induce more disorder. Not only more graffitti and other petty crimes, but also more serious crimes like murder, robbery, etc.
Kellings broken windows theory was put to practice by the Boston Police in the 1980s and then by Rudi Guiliani after he was elected as the Mayor of NY City. The crime rate declined sharply, as police came hard on graffiti and other small unsocial behavior in the neighbourhood. Broken window theory may be right. Graffiti on the wall could prompt people to violate social behavior. And appearance that a neighbourhood lacks social control (a broken window) can lead to crime.
Reconsidering the 'Broken Windows' Theory -
Don't Live with Broken Windows - Andy
Hunt and Dave Thomas.
Philip Zimbardo, a Stanford psychologist, reported in 1969 on some experiments testing the broken-window theory. He arranged to have an automobile without license plates parked with its hood up on a street in the Bronx and a comparable automobile on a street in Palo Alto, California. The car in the Bronx was attacked by "vandals" within ten minutes of its "abandonment." The first to arrive were a family, father, mother, and young son, who removed the radiator and battery. Within twenty-four hours, everything of value had been removed. Most of the adult "vandals" were well-dressed, apparently clean-cut whites. The car in Palo Alto sat untouched for more than a week. Then Zimbardo smashed part of it with a sledgehammer. Within a few hours, the car had been turned upside down and utterly destroyed. Again, the "vandals" appeared to be primarily respectable whites.
A Crack in the Broken Window Theory - By
The Broken Window Theory
James Q. Wilson and George Kelling developed the broken windows thesis to explain the signaling function of neighborhood characteristics. This broken windows thesis suggests that the following sequence of events can be expected in deteriorating neighborhoods. Evidence of decay remains in the neighborhood for a long period of time. The broken window theory suggests that neighborhood order strategies help to deter and reduce crime.
So has the death of broken window theory been exaggerated? The Harcourt and Ludwig (2006). Research discrediting the original broken window theory may tell us that physical signs of disorder do not predict neighbourhood crime. Where broken windows are not being repaired residents are being subjected to disrespect. From work I've done on estates in the past I'm sure that local people often sense the danger although they might not articulate it in terms of broken window theory. - Kevin Harris, Mending broken window theory.
The Spreading of Disorder" Kees
Keizer, Siegwart Lindenberg, and Linda Steg
Researchers link broken windows theory with drop in serious crime - John L. Worrall, the CSU San Bernardino criminal justice professor.
The study, Does Broken
Windows Law Enforcement Reduce Serious Crime? examined all California counties from 1989
to 2000. - It found for the first time a generalizeable statistical tie between
so-called broken windows policing and a drop in felony property crime while also
controlling for so many social and economic factors. Broken windows policing assumes that
serious crime can be reduced by strongly enforcing minor crimes such as graffiti, property
damage, and similar offences. More misdemeanor arrests and charges were taken to indicate
a local law enforcement tendency to engage in broken window policing.