OIG Report: Broken Windows doesn’t work
The Office of the Inspector General for the New York Police Department (OIG-NYPD) issued a report yesterday which used statistical analysis to demonstrate that the “Broken Windows” theory of policing is flawed. From their Recommendations, page 72:
OIG-NYPD found no evidence that the drop in felony crime observed over the past six years was related to quality-of-life summonses or quality-of-life misdemeanor arrests. This suggests that there are other strategies that may be driving down crime. Between 2010 and 2015, quality-of-life enforcement rates – in particular, quality-of-life summons rates – have dramatically declined, but there has been no commensurate increase in felony crime. While the stagnant or declining felony crime rates observed in this six-year time frame may perhaps be attributable to NYPD’s other disorder reduction strategies, OIG-NYPD finds no evidence to suggest that crime control can be directly attributed to quality-of-life summonses and misdemeanor arrests. Whatever has contributed to the observed drop in felony crime remains an open question worthy of further analysis.
The report goes on to say that the NYPD should take a more data driven approach to deciding what’s actually working and what isn’t, and should “conduct an analysis to determine whether quality-of-life enforcement disproportionately impacts black and Hispanic residents, males aged 15-20, and NYCHA residents.”
Very happy about this report, it’s been a super long time coming. The NYPD has said the report is flawed, and will come back with a response within 90 days. I’m looking forward to that as well.