Zero Tolerance Policing

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JSB 170 Introduction to Criminology and Policing
Assessment Two – Reflective Report (Question 3)
Zero Tolerance Policing in New York

Prepared by Zacchary Thomas n6379796
Tutor: Gordana Blazevic Thursday 11:00 – 12:00 S308

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Word Count: 2273
Table of Contents

Introduction 2
Zero Tolerance Policing in Practice: the ‘New York Miracle’ 3
Zero Tolerance Policing: A Cost/Benefit Analysis 4
Reflection 8
Conclusion 9
Reference List 10


The election of Rudolph Giuliani as Mayor of New York
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Zero Tolerance Policing: A Cost/Benefit Analysis

In order to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of ZTP as a model of policing, this report reframes these terms into a cost/benefit analysis based on societal impact. Put simply, do the benefits of ZTP outweigh its costs to society, in particular to the fair application of justice and upholding of individual citizens rights?

Examining the crime rates following the ‘New York miracle’ certainly lend credibility to the effectiveness of ZTP. Gibbons (1996) noted that burglaries decreased 24%, robberies 32% and motor crime 40% in the two years following April 1994. The overall crime rate was reduced by 37%, with decreases in homicide and violent crime of 51% and 38% respectively (Bratton, 1997). Advocates of ZTP attribute these reductions in crime rates to the use of a proactive and intensive policing approach, situational crime control, rapid analysis of information and heightened efficiency & accountability (Bratton & Knobler, 1998, Bintcliffe, 2014).

The key benefit of ZTP was the high level of visibility and presence of the police force alongside community stakeholders in its’ efforts to ‘take back the city, street by street, block by block’ (Silverman, 1999, p90). Commissioner Bratton initiated plans to revitalize the economy and to improve
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