Crime And The Broken Window Theory

1486 WordsApr 1, 20176 Pages
At one point, crime in America grew 13 times faster than population. Between 1965 and 1980s, crimes in every category rose to a record high in New York. Burglary related crimes rose from 183,443 to 360,925. Larceny-theft rose from 253,353 to 535. Vehicle theft rose from 58,452 to 171,007. Assault rose from 27,464 to 91,571. Murder rose from 836 to 2,228. However, during the 1990s, crime in New York crime tipped. Crime fell to a record low. Murder rates, burglary, larceny-theft, vehicle theft, assault, and rape all fell suddenly. Homicide rates plunged 43 percent reaching the lowest levels in 35 years. The crack epidemic along with the election of a new governor both contributed to the drop in crime not the “broken window theory”. Many…show more content…
Throughout the 1990s, “misdemeanor arrests increased 70 percent in New York City” due to the availability of more officers leading to the arrest of felons on lower level crimes (Francis). The “broken window theory” did not show signs of correlation with the reduction of crime in New York City. In addition, the increase in officers resulted in more random patrols, deterring crime in public places. Criminals looking to commit crime had less time. Police officers arrived within seconds of a 9-1-1 phone call. Also, New York City police used precision to focus patrol resources on the times and places with the highest risks of serious crime known as “Compstat”. With more police officers, patrol presence was concentrated at the "hot spots" and "hot times" of criminal activity. As a result, the increase in police between 1991 and 2001 accounted for a “crime reduction of 5– 6 percent” (Levitt). Arrest rates skyrocketed from “50 to 70 percent” in the 1990s (Francis). The “number of transit crimes dropped over 65%” during the early 1990s showing that crime fell rapidly (Loop). Law enforcement officers were pulling low-level crooks out of rap clubs, bars and streets congesting the justice system but also interrogating them for information that led to hundreds of arrests of more violent criminals involved in gun trafficking, robbery and murder. Within the first 50 weeks of 1994,
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