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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 114685 Find in a Library
Title: Broken Windows (From Critical Issues in Policing: Contemporary Readings, P 369-381, 1989, Roger G Dunham and Geoffrey P Alpert, eds. -- See NCJ-114674)
Author(s): J Q Wilson; G L Kelling
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Waveland Press, Inc.
Long Grove, IL 60047
Sale Source: Waveland Press, Inc.
4180 IL Route 83
Suite 101
Long Grove, IL 60047
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the historical roles of police patrol officers and of the New Jersey experiment with foot patrols in the mid-1970's concludes that a return to a focus on maintenance of order rather than crime control would be desirable.
Abstract: Newark's reinstitution of foot patrols did not reduce crime rates, but residents in the neighborhoods with foot patrols felt more secure than residents of other neighborhoods. Analysis of the roles the foot patrol officer performs shows that the citizens were actually safer because of the order-maintenance function of foot patrols. The foot patrols were able to have informal contacts with citizens and make sure that people observe informal rules defining the acceptable level of order in the community. The importance of these activities are underscored by the research showing the link between disorder and crime. For example, if a broken window in a building is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken. Similarly, untended property attracts vandals, even among people who would not ordinarily consider committing crimes. A lack of tending to the people and property in a neighborhood leads to the breakdown of informal community controls on behavior and a set of conditions in which serious crimes are likely to increase. A return to the long-abandoned view that the police should protect communities as well as individuals would be desirable. Police use of public transportation to get to work and the hiring of off-duty police officers for patrol work by tenant organizations would be two ways to increase police-citizen contacts and extend the use of limited police resources.
Main Term(s): Police crime-prevention
Index Term(s): Community crime prevention programs; Crime Control Programs; Environmental influences; Fear of crime; Foot patrol
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