By declaring their intent to only perform arrests when “absolutely necessary” the thought was that it would cause an increase in crime, and the political pressure would build on the police department’s side. In addition, the idea is to hurt the New York City government with a reduction in revenue from things like parking tickets or court citations. The police are still arresting those who clearly pose a danger to the public, but by ignoring the lesser crimes – the incidents which are at the heart of the “Broken Window” policy which has been in force since the 1980’s – they have revealed that the policy itself is broken.
Originating in 1982 by Professors George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson in a piece written for The Atlantic, the idea behind Broken Window is expressed with a simple statement.
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