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“Broken Windows” theory of crime has merit

Filed under: , The Future Of,Pittsburgh,Politics — jet @ 17:18

Perhaps folks in local government can learn something from the success in Boston?


Researchers, working with police, identified 34 crime hot spots. In half of them, authorities set to work – clearing trash from the sidewalks, fixing street lights, and sending loiterers scurrying. Abandoned buildings were secured, businesses forced to meet code, and more arrests made for misdemeanors. Mental health services and homeless aid referrals expanded.

In the remaining hot spots, normal policing and services continued.

Then researchers from Harvard and Suffolk University sat back and watched, meticulously recording criminal incidents in each of the hot spots.

The results, just now circulating in law enforcement circles, are striking: A 20 percent plunge in calls to police from the parts of town that received extra attention. It is seen as strong scientific evidence that the long-debated “bro ken windows” theory really works – that disorderly conditions breed bad behavior, and that fixing them can help prevent crime.


[tags]crime, pittsburgh[/tags]

1 Comment »

  1. I wonder if this would work in a small town in South Carolina where most residents have the mentality of those creepy ,mountain people in the movie, “Deliverance.”

    Comment by lisa larson — 2009/07/25 @ 16:20

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