Exploring the Role of Broken Windows Theory in Crime Causation
Broken Windows Theory is an integrative approach to crime causation that suggests that physical and social disorder in public spaces can lead to more serious offenses. The theory was developed by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in 1982 and suggests that visible signs of crime, such as broken windows and graffiti, can create a perception that the area is not monitored, leading to an increase in more serious criminal activities (Kelling & Wilson, 1982). This theory is based on the concept that if a window is broken and left unrepaired, people will perceive that no one cares and, therefore, that it is acceptable to engage in further criminal behavior (Skogan, 2019). Broken Windows Theory has been used to explain why crime increases in certain disadvantaged neighborhoods, such as those with higher poverty rates and less access to services. This theory explains that the lack of investment in public spaces, combined with the presence of physical disorder, can lead to a decrease in social capital, which can ultimately lead to more serious offenses (Skogan & Maxfield, 1981). Furthermore, Broken Windows Theory suggests that physical and social disorder can lead to a decrease in the public’s sense of safety, Cont…
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