Broken Windows Concept

Topics: Police, Crime, Constable Pages: 5 (1023 words) Published: September 7, 2014

Broken Windows Concept

The administrative and operational consideration of the Broken Windows Theory affects many aspects of the police department and the community. The social disorder of a run-down community can be looked at by a single broken window. The idea affects not only the community but the police force as well. Mayors, politicians, police chiefs, and other administrators want their city to look and feel safe. When small time crime invades the community, it can turn into a bigger crime and the fall of the city. The theory was experimented with in many cities with positive and negative results. Police patrol, emergency and critical incident response, police investigations, and future trends were affected in many communities. Implementations of new laws as well as enforcing existing small time crime laws have had big effects on many cities. The Broken Windows Theory

George E. Kelling co-wrote an article for the Atlantic Monthly in March, 1982 about the theory about social disorder, and the informal social controls can reduce rebellious behavior, such as vandalism (Kelling, 1982). Small crimes such as public drinking, littering, prostitution, pan-handling, and loitering are targeting in the article. The concept is mainly targeted at low-income cities that increased social disorder and low opinions about police presence and arrests. The concept is that disorder and crime are linked in a developmental sequence. The theory explains that one broken window left unrepaired will solicit other broken windows, and progressively lower the community’s standards. If that same window is repaired, such as in a beautification program, then crime will be reduced. Also, in an experiment in New Jersey, police began policing on foot instead of cars. The idea was a more personal presence in the city. If criminals saw more police presence they may go elsewhere to commit a crime, and the public would be more inclined to help police in criminal investigations. The testing of the theory involved the cooperation of police agencies, as well as case studies. The police agencies did not like the foot patrol idea because foot patrol was deemed a punishment for officers, and they could not respond to crime as fast as with a patrol car. After five years, the testing was analyzed, and it was discovered that crime was not reduced. After talking with the public, the public seemed to think that crime was reduced, and they felt more secure and safe in the neighborhood. The theory proved ineffective on lowering crime, but the public praised the police for doing so anyways. The unwritten concept that smaller crimes will lead to bigger crimes could not be proven, but other theories conclude that the Broken Theory is not accurate. Functions of Patrol, Crime Investigation, Emergency and Critical Incident Response Place police officers on foot patrol used to be a punishment, but in the experiment it had an alternative motive. Administrative and operation considerations were evaluated after placing police on designated foot patrols. Patrol officers on foot had positive and bad negative. The positive outcomes were the intimate relations ship the police acquired with the public. The public got used to a police officer coming into the shops and greeted them informally, compared to just driving by and only reporting after a crime was committed. The foot patrol officers made a pleasant presence I the community that made the public believe crime was reduced. The negative outcomes with foot patrols were the delayed response to calls and lack of contact with the department. The same was true with emergency and critical incident response (NA, 2012). Criminal investigations seemed to be easier with the public cooperation. Police conduction foot patrols would have an intimate relationship with the public that would aid in criminal investigations. Since crime was not reduced, it was concluded that criminals figured out where police would be and the...

References: Kelling, J. Q. (1982, March). Broken Windows. Retrieved August 31, 2014, from The Atlantic online:
NA. (2012, October). Broken Windows Policing. Retrieved August 31, 2014, from What-when-how:
Sahm, C. U. (2007, April). Broken Windows Turns 25. Retrieved August 31, 2014, from City Journal:
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