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Broken Windows Policing

One school of thought among those who study crime as a behavioral science is that if the area in which one lives is left to deteriorate, then the inhabitants of that area will thrive on criminal behavior as a means of survival and control. This generalization can be used to support the theory of broken windows. The concept of broken windows was first explained by James Q. Wilson and George Kelling (1982). In their original article, they wrote that the police should focus their efforts on targeting specific criminal behavior that leads to the deterioration of the geographical area in question. The intent of the police removing or covering up graffiti, fixing (or making sure they are fixed) broken windows in buildings, and discouraging panhandlers and prostitutes from freely loitering on streets is to prevent more serious crime from happening (Wilson and Kelling, 1982).

From an analytical perspective, mapping hot spot areas of specific types of crimes, such as prostitution, street corner vices, and narcotics activity, can help to identify significant temporal and spatial factors. Once these factors are identified and analyzed and the data are disseminated to law enforcement, they can be used to support tactical planning that is intended to target those specific areas while addressing those specific crimes.

 
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