The Broken Window theory was initially introduced to curb criminal minor offences and protect civil rights. There are many Pros of Broken Window Policing that comes along. These include:
Broken windows policing is credited with reducing crime rates in some cities. The strategy was first implemented in New York City in the 1990s, and during that time, the city saw a significant reduction in serious crimes like murder and robbery. The theory behind this approach is that cracking down on minor offenses sends a message to would-be criminals that law enforcement is paying close attention to all forms of criminal activity, which can act as a deterrent.
The idea behind broken windows policing is to create a sense of safety and order by making people feel like their neighborhoods are more secure. When small crimes such as vandalism or loitering are addressed, it can make residents feel like they’re in an area the police are actively monitoring. This can lead to increased trust between the police and the community, leading to more cooperation and information sharing when it comes to serious crimes.
One of the potential advantages of broken windows policing is improving the overall quality of life in a community. When small offenses like vandalism or loitering are addressed, it can help to create a sense of safety and security, making residents feel more comfortable and at ease. This can lead to a community that is more invested in its own well-being and may be more likely to work together to create positive change.
Broken windows policing can also lead to increased civic engagement in a community. When residents see law enforcement working to address minor offenses, it can help to build trust and foster a sense of community pride. This can lead to a community that is more invested in its own welfare and may be more likely to work together to solve problems.
Broken windows policing can lead to increased economic development in a community. When crime rates are reduced, and the quality of life is improved, it creates an environment where businesses are more likely to thrive. This can help create jobs and strengthen the local economy, which benefits everyone in the area.
Despite the good intentions behind enforcement of the theory, opponents often argue about multiple cons of broken window policing. These include:
Broken windows policing has been criticized for disproportionately targeting marginalized communities, particularly those with large minority populations. This type of law enforcement can increase racial profiling and the over-policing of certain areas, which can create a sense of mistrust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
The broken-windows approach has also been criticized for leading to an increase in police brutality. In some cases, officers may use extreme force to arrest someone for a minor offense. Critics argue that the strategy encourages police officers to use aggressive tactics, which can lead to unnecessary violence and harm to innocent civilians, particularly those in marginalized communities.
One of the critical disadvantages of broken windows policing is that it can result in unfair treatment of minor offenses. This type of law enforcement holds people accountable for acts that are not necessarily serious or violent, such as loitering or public intoxication. Critics argue that this leads to a waste of police resources and an unacceptable level of punishment for minor infractions.
Broken windows policing has been criticized for leading to a loss of civil liberties as officers target minor offenses to reduce crime. This type of law enforcement can lead to the over-surveillance of certain areas and an increased police presence that some argue is unnecessary and invasive. This can make people feel as if their civil rights are being violated, leading to distrust and resentment.
There is also concern that broken windows policing can lead to the misuse of resources. The strategy requires significant manpower and money, which could otherwise be used to address bigger issues such as poverty or homelessness. This means that resources are diverted away from more pressing problems, leading some to question whether the benefits of this type of law enforcement outweigh its costs.
In conclusion, while broken window policing can improve public safety, it can also be seen as an illusion of safety. Unlike the traditional view of linking crime prevention and disorder reduction, this approach sees lower crime levels as a result of controlling small indicators such as graffiti or window-breaking. This makes it difficult to come to an overall conclusion about its effectiveness.
Individuals need to analyze the pros and cons for their community before deciding on the right approach when dealing with breaking windows or other minor violations. Every situation needs to be assessed case-by-case, depending on the social context and what works best for that particular neighborhood. By weighing both sides objectively, you can understand where the best course of action lies for your city or town.
Compared to many previous criminological theories, one clear advantage of this theory is that it empowers initiatives in criminal justice policy to bring about change instead of relying solely on social policy. This enhances the effectiveness of interventions and ensures a more targeted approach to addressing the issues at hand.
One common critique of broken windows policing is that it unfairly targets and stigmatizes individuals who are impoverished or homeless. This is because the visible indicators used to identify disorder in a community often coincide with the socio-economic circumstances of its residents.
Based on Wilson & Kelling's (1982) broken windows thesis, the presence of physical and social disorders has a significant impact on criminal behavior. These disorders directly indicate to criminals that the community is unconcerned about crime while also eroding informal social control.
James Q Wilson, a prominent right realist, concluded that the level of self-regulation within a community profoundly influences crime and deviance. The theory suggests that the presence of one broken window is likely to lead to more.