Crime in the Westwood neighborhood of Denver, where police are experimenting with a “broken windows” approach to crime, is down 21.4 percent this year, reports the Rocky Mountain News. Police commander Rudy Sandoval said said that increased enforcement has yet to result in a citizen complaint. Community leaders and politicians said they hoped the concept could be implemented throughout the department in five years. A sudden citywide increase in police activity, as seen from a dramatic spike in traffic stops, indicated that it’s already spreading.
The program advocated by criminologist George Kelling consists of three parts: paying careful attention even to small crimes (such as a broken window), intensively tracking city crime with computers, and at-least-weekly meetings of commanders to examine what is happening and what needs changing. Officials hope crime will stay down in Westwood now that a police team no longer will be assigned specifically to that area.