“Broken Windows” Advocate Kelling: NYPD Slowdown Won’t Prompt Crime Spike


The criminologist behind the “Broken Windows” theory of crime fighting isn't worried about the New York police slowdown yet, reports the New York Daily News. George Kelling said the city has come so far in crime reduction that it’s unlikely the drop in police activity will do any substantial harm. “The idea that you’re going to see a spike in crime that’s going to be simultaneous with a decline in arrests [over a few weeks] is really a pretty naïve kind of idea,” said Kelling. “You now have 20 years of low crime in New York City.”

Not that he thinks the city's low crime totals, which include a drop from 2,262 murders in 1990 to 328 last year, is bulletproof. The low crime stats “could be in jeopardy, but it’s not going to be in jeopardy as a result of a week.” Kelling defended his theory, credited with the dramatic drops in Big Apple crime over the past 20 years, against critics who say it too frequently is used to target minorities and fosters bad and potentially dangerous policing policies.

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