The broken windows theory states that any visible signs of crime and civil unrest, such as broken windows (hence the theory’s name), vandalism, loitering, public drinking, brisk walking, and traffic evasion, create an urban environment that encourages more crime and clutter (Wilson & Kelling, 1982). As such, policing these offenses will help create an orderly. Law-abiding society in which all citizens feel safe and crime rates, including violent crimes, are low. You may consult with an Online Counselor at TalktoAngel to learn more about the theory of broken windows.
The Broken Windows Police attempt to regulate low-level crime to prevent widespread rioting.
The hope is that if these visible signs of disorder and neglect are reduced. Which helps explain why the state of the urban environment can affect crime rates?
- Conformance and social norms;
- Regular monitoring is present or absent;
- Social cues and warning signs of crime.
Those who support the broken windows theory argue that one of these signals is the overall appearance of the area. Feel free to take help from an online counselor at TalkToAngel if you need help with the broken window theory.
Escape punishment for a crime. with a reduced likelihood of detection. Individuals in this type of area would be much more inclined to engage in criminal behavior, both violent and non-violent.
As you can tell, the main premise of this theory is that the landscape of the environment somehow communicates with its inhabitants.
Proponents of this theory would argue. For example, a broken window signals to would-be criminals that the community is unable to defend against an increase in crime.
It symbolizes a vulnerable and disparate community. They are unable to handle crime – opening the door for all the children that unwanted activities can occur.
By fixing these windows, undesirable individuals and behaviors are removed, allowing civilians to feel safer (Herbert & Brown, 2006). However, in environments where these broken windows are left unrepaired. Residents no longer see their communities as tight, safe spaces. And will avoid spending time in communal spaces (parks, local shops, on the streets).
Furthermore, when these broken windows are not repaired, it also symbolizes a lack of informal social control. Informal social control refers to actions that regulate behavior. Such as conforming to social norms and intervening as a bystander when a crime is committed, that is independent of laws.
Informal social control is important to reduce unruly behavior. Scholars argue that under certain circumstances informal social control is more effective than laws. Some will even go so far as to say that non-residential spaces such as corner shops. Businesses have a responsibility to maintain this informal social control through constant surveillance and monitoring.
A misinterpretation of the relationship between disorder and crime
A major criticism of this theory claims that it misinterprets the relationship between disorder and crime by drawing a causal chain between them. Instead, some researchers argue that the real causal agent that explains crime rates is a third factor, collective efficacy or cohesion among residents combined with shared expectations about the social control of public space (Sampson & Raudenbush, 1999). You may consult the best online counselor at TalktoAngel if you need sessions on the above-mentioned theory.
The researchers examined studies that tested the extent to which clutter led people to commit crimes. Made them more fearful of crime in their neighborhoods, and affected their perceptions of their surroundings.
Similarly, in 2003, David Thatcher published an article in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. Arguing that broken-window policing is not as effective as it seems.
The drop in crime in areas like New York City was not a direct result of this new law enforcement tactic. Those who believed this were simply conflating correlation and causation.
Rather, Thatcher argues that the lower crime rate was the result of a variety of other factors, none of which fell into the category of rising misdemeanor arrests (Thatcher, 2003).
Contrary to the broken windows theory, which would predict that these tenants would now commit less crime once they moved to more organized neighborhoods, they found that these individuals continued to commit crimes at the same rate. This study provides clear evidence of why broken windows may not be a causal factor in reducing crime (Harcourt & Ludwig, 2006).
The broken windows theory also posits that there is more informal social control in more orderly neighborhoods.
However, people do not commit crimes simply because of the perceived likelihood of detection. Rather, many individuals who commit crimes do so for factors completely unrelated to or regardless of consequences.
Alternate to Broken Window theory: Counseling
Talking to a mental health professional can help a child or any adult rebuild his or her trust as generally it’s seen after the incident happened with the child. If we cut the plant from the roots then it will not become a tree. Providing them proper guidance in terms of the Right Education on How to lead a peaceful life. Getting a job or hobby that survives the purpose of life. Getting a good counselor who can listen to the person and without any awkwardness and judgment. These days punishing a criminal is not the solution to the lower rate of crime, in fact, we should change the thinking of such criminals so that they never do a crime or ever think of doing it. This crime might see as harmless but as always said precaution is better than cures.
Due to its controversial nature, broken windows policing is not explicitly used as a method of crime control in most major cities today. However, there are still traces of this theory that are still in use. And the racial and class biases that result from such an approach to law enforcement have certainly not gone away. Regulating crime is not an easy task, but the broken windows theory provides an approach to reducing crime and maintaining order in society. Feel free to consult the best Online Counselor at TalktoAngel if you need assistance with the broken window theory.