Thursday, September 3, 2009

Graffiti study bolsters 'broken windows' theory

In a series of real-world experiments, people exposed to graffiti, litter and other cues of lawlessness were more likely to commit small crimes, according to a study published today that bolsters the controversial "broken windows" theory of policing.

The idea is that low-level offenses like vandalism and panhandling create an environment that breeds bigger crimes. According to the theory, cops can help head off serious violence by keeping minor infractions in check.

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