The Broken Windows Theory of Policing

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The broken windows theory of policing was introduced by Philip Zimbardo, an American psychologist whose main area of research was criminal behavior. According to Zimbardo, if a building had a broken window and it was left unrepaired, soon enough the other windows in the same building would also be broken. The broken window is a sign that no one cares enough to repair it, so others can be broken. He used the broken window as an analogy for small crimes and wrongdoings. If left unaddressed or unpunished, soon enough they would graduate to more significant crimes.