Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Little things matter

The person most responsible for New York’s recent run of good fortune may be a professor from Harvard. It was James Q. Wilson of the Harvard Government Department who coined the “Broken Window” theory of crime prevention. Little things matter, the Wilson theory goes, especially when it comes to infractions of public order. If a broken pane of glass goes unrepaired, other panes will be shattered, and then doors will be jimmied up and down the street. If graffiti on a train goes unremoved, more graffiti will follow, and so will robberies in the cars and stations. No tolerance for petty lawbreaking leads to fewer incidents of major lawbreaking.


Post a Comment

<< Home