A Breakdown In “Broken Windows”? NYPD Arrests For Minor Offenses Down


New York police officers anonymously told the New York Post they aren’t making arrests for minor crimes because they fear for their safety after the murders of two fellow officers, the Huffington Post reports. “I'm not writing any summonses. Do you think I'm going to stand there so someone can shoot me or hit me in the head with an ax?” said one cop. “I'm concerned about my safety. I want to go to home to my wife and kids.”

The New York Post said arrests dropped 66 percent over the last week, fueled by huge drops in arrests for minor offenses. That percentage is based on a comparison between the week starting Dec. 22 and the same week in 2013. It’s unclear if that comparison is valid or if low-level arrests have been down for much of the year. Citations for traffic violations fell by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587. The drop in arrests could be worse news for Police Commissioner William Bratton than it is for those protesting police misconduct. Bratton helped pioneer the “broken windows” approach of policing. Proponents of the broken windows theory believe that law enforcement cracking down on low-level offenses leads to a drop in more serious crimes.

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