The focus of this analysis is to critically evaluate the explanation of the broken windows thesis postulated by Wilson & Kelling with regard to community policing in the neighborhood its concurrent role in maintaining order. A central theme in the debate on community policing has focused on the widespread notion that an increase in visible community policing will significantly reduce crime and the cycle of broken window disorder (Wilson & Kelling, 1982). Indeed the correlation between the symbolic broken window societal malaise and community policing has contributed to numerous US Government driven initiatives to increase on foot policing (Klockers, 1988).
[...] Brotherhood of Corruption. A Cop breaks the Silence on Police Abuse, Brutality and Racial Profiling. Chicago Review Press. Jefferson and Walker (1992) in Croall, H (1998) Race, Ethnicity and Crime. Crime and Society in Britain. Essex, Pearson. Longman. Klockers C.B. (1988) in McLaughlin E (2002). Key Issues in Police Work: Controlling Crime. London Sage Publications Lawrence, R. (2000). The Politics of Force: Media and the Construction of Police Brutality. University of California Press. Manzoni, P. (2003). Violence between the police and the public. [...]
[...] The officers feel that all they do is act as maintainers of order and ignore other problems, which Wilson & Kelling argue is significant in their Broken Windows argument. As such, when police officers are confronted with problems, they feel that they must follow the path of least resistance and render their form of curb-side justice (Wilson, 1975). Whilst police authority is essential to the officer's role in law enforcement, the problem of resistance and what constitutes excessive force further compounds the issue as to limits of police power (Fitzgerald, 2006). [...]
[...] Indeed, Kelling and Wilson recognize the failure of their theory lies in establishing who is actually criminal (1982). Moreover Goldblatt & Lewis argue that increased community policing does not reduce crime rates per se (1998) Conclusion Whilst the broken windows theory clearly has merit in providing a foundation from which to evaluate policing strategy, it is submitted that the inherent flaw of the model is the failure to address causality. Wilson and Kelling focus on a somewhat arbitrary solution to an extremely complex problem. [...]
[...] Zurich, Switzerland. Ruegger. McGurran A. (2001). Hoodies Jail Plea. Daily Mirror. McLaughlin E (2002). Key Issues in Police Work: Controlling Crime. London Sage Publications Meyer, J. P., Stanley, D. J., Herscovitch, L., & Topolyntsky, L. (202). Affective, continuance, and normative commitment to the organisation: A meta-analysis of antecedents, correlates, and consequences. Journal of Vocational Behaviour 20-52. Quinn, M. (2004). Walking with the Devil: The Police Code of Silence. Quinn and [...]
[...] As such, Wilson and Kelling's theory fails to reflect the reality of criminological reality that notwithstanding community disorder, the broken windows are not repaired simply by virtue of community policing. The broader studies clearly raise the question as to whether it is the stress that actually cause abuse of power, or whether police officers themselves are attracted to excessive use of force (Manzoni & Eisner, 2006), which in turn emphasizes the need to further consider causality and what constitutes effective community policing. [...]
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