Though that is not what you will hear from those who would roll back broken windows policing; but one of the originators of broken windows, George Kelling, writes describing how that happens in this article from the New York Post.
From the beginning, Broken-Windows policing had its critics.
“Experts” — many of whom had never been in New York City when Broken Windows was being implemented, never walked a New York beat, never rode in a patrol car — pontificated: New York was “cooking the books”; Broken Windows was criminalizing the poor; broken windows had no impact on crime; New York City was not unique, since crime was declining in many cities that did not practice Broken Windows.
In spite of the fact that virtually all of these criticisms have been proved invalid, today’s activists repeat many of them.
There is no denying that the prevailing narrative of police misbehavior is powerful and contains elements of truth. Some police have been abusive to poor and minorities; racist practices do still exist in some police departments; some departments have dubbed high-arrest programs as “broken windows” policing; some citizens, especially African-Americans, have been pointlessly killed.
But indiscriminately attributing all of the ills displayed in recent events in cities to Broken Windows risks taking us back decades in our attempts to improve public safety and quality of life for all citizens.
In fact, the policing actions involved in recent incidents either ignore or misrepresent the Broken-Windows approach that we conceived either in theory or in policy and practice — or both.
There’s every reason to believe de-policing high-crime minority neighborhoods would be a disaster. We tried it in the past, and it’s taken decades for us to regain control of public spaces, and even now some neighborhoods remain under threat.
Similarly, we experimented with decriminalization in New York City from the 1960s through the 1980s, most memorably in the subway.
The transit police at the time, using their discretion, decriminalized farebeating by not enforcing the law. The result was a disaster — with 250,000 people a day not paying their fare and creating chaos in the subways.
The real issue is to do policing,, including Broken-Windows policing, right. Here’s how.
First, we should reaffirm and re-establish the understanding that Broken Windows is a tactic that must be implemented within the framework of community policing.
This requires that police seek the active and ongoing consent of and collaboration with local communities in the development of safe and secure neighborhoods.
It recognizes that police exercise substantial discretion in their work and in contacts with citizens. Such discretion requires appropriate training, guidance from leadership and experience in a community.
Second, police must focus on citizen priorities. Broken Windows as a policing tactic rests clearly upon the law, but policing activities should also be formulated in response to local citizen demands and priorities.
Citizens, especially African-Americans, want an end to police brutality, but they want quality policing and safe and secure neighborhoods at least as much.
Third, we must clear up confusion about certain police activities used today that do not represent Broken Windows, and instead detract from its value.
In particular, Broken Windows is a powerful tool but — contrary to public perception — it does not rest upon a policy of many arrests, which are a last resort.
Similarly, while some have argued that Broken-Windows policing results in higher incarceration rates, research indicates that police crime-prevention methods, including Broken Windows, have actually reduced mass incarceration.
Retrieved May 14, 2015 from http://nypost.com/2015/05/12/how-broken-windows-policing-empties-prisons-jails/