broken windows theory

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broken windows theory

A theory in criminology supported by various experiments regarding the norm-setting and signalling effects of urban chaos (e.g., broken windows, disrepair of buildings, poorly groomed parks, etc.) and vandalism on further crime and anti-social behaviour.

While interpretations of the data differ according to the author, the experiments suggest that correction of small problems—which, if left in disrepair, signal an indifference to the community by the powers of authority—prevents that negative message from extending to an entire building, institution or section of a community.
References in periodicals archive ?
Still, that amount is nothing compared to what they've spent on bandages, ice packs and fixing broken windows.
He plans to reopen the shop next week after fixing broken windows and damage from rockets and bullets.
"The security sector [in Lebanon] has not yet overcome the legacy of the 15-year Civil War that ended in 1990, nor the subsequent 15 years of Syrian domination," said Yezid Sayigh, professor of Middle East Studies at King's College London and author of "Fixing Broken Windows," a study on security forces in Middle Eastern states.Aa
They argued that fixing broken windows, or removing signs of urban decay, does more to reduce crime than conventional policing based on responding to incidents.
First, in the mid-1990s, former New York City police commissioner William Bratton implemented a "fixing broken windows" approach--enforcing nuisance laws, cleaning up graffiti, and so on.
They performed short plays illustrating the normal working duties of Mrs Leeson, like fixing broken windows, before singing a specially-composed song about her.
It could mean vandals paying for their sins by cleaning up graffiti or fixing broken windows.
Company secretary Neil Taylor said the list ranged from fitting a pounds 2 light bulb and pounds 5 on ``removing vegetation at front entrance'' to fixing broken windows and painting the building's outside.
George Kelling, co-author of the highly acclaimed community policing program, "Fixing Broken Windows," explains why neighborhood-focused crime-reduction strategies are difficult to apply in the Federal District.
Wilson's "broken window" theory, which holds that minor breakdowns in civility and appearance (e.g., tolerating loitering and not fixing broken windows) fuel bigger problems.
This approach, which later came to be known as "fixing broken windows" (which is incidentally also the title of Kelling's most recent book co-authored with Catherine Cole), holds that by eliminating what are considered to be the signs of urban decay, such as, well, broken windows, graffiti, dilapidation, et c., one eliminates the climate in which more serious crimes like mugging, breaking and entering, drug-dealing, etc.