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"Broken Windows" Essay

562 words - 3 pages

A community perception of crime is more important than the actual presence off crime. More officers patrolling a neighborhood on foot than in car gives the presence of safety in that neighborhood. These officers spend time with the community and get to know them. These officers learn to distinguish strangers from "regulars", kicking out strangers as a result. Other cases where neighborhoods that leave a broken window unfix tend to encourage more broken windows, because it gives the impression that no one cares and over time more windows get broken initiating the degradation of that neighborhood.Communities feel safer when officers patrol their neighborhoods regularly. These officers spend time and get to know the community as a whole. They learned to tell "regulars" ...view middle of the document...

These bonds allow the resident to feel safe despite crime rates statistics.Officers walking beats had higher morale, greater job satisfaction, and a more favorable attitude toward citizens in their neighborhoods than did officers assigned to patrol cars...Foot patrol has no effect on crime; it merely fools the citizens into thinking that they are safer (268, Kelling/ Wilson)The size of a community can often influence the perception of crime in a neighborhood. The larger the community the more problems it appears to have. This problem almost always appears to directly relate to the size the community. The community perception falls below average due to climbing poverty rates. Due to the poverty rates people in the neighborhood find other ways of surviving and resort to drug dealing and robbing people.Communities who tend to leave small incidents unnoticed usually unknowingly encourage more small incident witch leads to bigger problems. These incidents that are left unnoticed give people the general impression that the community does not care. As more acts of vandalism accrue the worse they become. These neighborhoods usually experience vandalism followed by more severe acts such as mugging. Social psychologist and police officers tend to agree that if a window in a building is broken and is left unprepared, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken (269,Kelling/Wilson)The officer's influence on the community can change the neighborhoods perception of crime. If the neighborhood perception of crime is changed the greater the chance that community won't experience acts of vandalism. Other statistics have shown that even if the crime rate has not dropped at all the community still feels safer. Social perception plays a key role in how neighborhoods feel about their community."Broken Windows" by James Wilson and George Kelling

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