Do broken windows really predict neighborhood crime?
WBUR - 08/18/2015
Can a broken window really predict crime?
That’s the idea behind the “Broken Windows” theory. The theory goes that areas with a lot of public disorder — trash, ruined cars, broken lights — are also those plagued by public violence.
But according to the Boston Area Research Initiative, at least in Boston, it turns out that’s not quite the case. A better predictor of violent crime is actually private disorder — things like domestic abuse and landlord/tenant disputes, according to Daniel O’Brien, an assistant professor at Northeastern University who completed a study on Boston neighborhoods and crime. He says private crimes appear to spill over into the neighborhoods they inhabit, sometimes with deadly consequences.