The Broken Window Theory: New York City’s Crime Rate Declines


The Broken Window Theory: New York City’s Crime Rate Declines

During the 1980s and 1990s, crime rates in New York City were extremely high, with 600,000 serious crime incidents (including 2,000 murders) being reported per year, and a substantial proportion of these crimes took place on the subway. However, subway crime dropped dramatically in the late 1990s. This was due to an initiative by the New York City government, which focused on cleaning up graffiti in the subway and enforcing fines for passengers who boarded without buying a ticket.

Surprisingly, this resulted in not only a decrease in the number of misdemeanors, but also a reduction in the number of serious crimes. This is known as the “broken window theory,” which is based on the idea that visible signs of crime (like broken windows) create an environment that encourages further, more serious crimes. That is to say, if one window is left broken, more windows will be damaged and the entire area might eventually fall into disrepair. However, if the window is repaired in a short space of time, the surrounding buildings are less likely to be vandalised. In other words, putting measures in place to prevent less serious crimes on the subway, like petty theft and vandalism, has had a knock-on effect on the rate of more serious crimes, like shootings and knife attacks.


・The Broken Window Theory・・割れ窓理論
・crime rates・・犯罪率
・serious crime incidents・・重犯罪率
・substantial proportion・・かなりの割合
・take place・・発生する、行われる
・due to・・~の結果である
・visible signs of crime・・目に見える犯罪の兆候
・left broken・・壊れたままにされる
・in a short space of time・・短時間の間で
・In other words・・つまり
・put A in place・・Aを導入する
・petty theft・・軽い窃盗
・knock-on effect・・(一つのことが次々に波及する)ドミノ効果

割れ窓理論 ニューヨーク市の犯罪率低下




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