11 votes

There's No Such Thing as a Dangerous Neighborhood

3 comments

  1. [2]
    anahata
    Link
    This article is seriously missing the point. It's not just "violent" crime that's a problem; it's all crime. I don't feel comfortable outside of center city / university city Philadelphia--north,...

    This article is seriously missing the point. It's not just "violent" crime that's a problem; it's all crime. I don't feel comfortable outside of center city / university city Philadelphia--north, south, or west. East is Camden, and I am not going there. I might occasionally do something in north, south, or west Philadelphia, but Camden is absolutely not something I will do. It's not just the violent crime, it's all crime. If the point is that only violent crime makes a neighborhood dangerous, then I'm not sure I can relate to this writer.

    Their study also doesn't cover Camden, nor Philadelphia, not even NYC. Missing such large swaths of urban America, and such large swaths of urban crime, makes me wonder how applicable their findings are.

    5 votes
    1. determinism
      Link Parent
      The title doesn't summarize the article very well, I don't think they make the claim. They are challenging the "Broken Windows" paradigm and the policing methods that resulted from it. ...

      The title doesn't summarize the article very well, I don't think they make the claim. They are challenging the "Broken Windows" paradigm and the policing methods that resulted from it.

      In essence, Kelling and Wilson argued that latent danger loomed everywhere, and everywhere people’s disorderly impulses needed to be repressed, or else. Their “broken windows theory” didn’t stay theoretical: Also known as order maintenance policing, this tactic propelled an entire generation of policing practice that sought to crack down on minor “quality-of-life” infractions as a way to stem violence.

      ...

      Changing public consciousness about the nature of violent crime is crucial to undermining the appeal of the broken windows paradigm. The notion that public disorder drives criminality can seem an intuitive approach to public safety. But if people understand that most serious violence circles specific interpersonal group dynamics in structurally disadvantaged communities, order maintenance policing seems more like what study after study shows it is: an unnecessary evil.

      That doesn’t mean there’s no connection between the condition of the built environment and crime: Some kinds of place-based interventions, such as cleaning and converting vacant land, for example, do appear to increase public safety. But those projects don’t use arrests or stops to fix broken windows. Stopping violent crime means addressing the risks and needs of those most likely to be involved in it. Now that we have clear evidence of the extraordinary concentration of that risk in American cities, we can and should follow those facts, not a theory that’s only ever been just that.

      4 votes
  2. envy
    Link
    This is the Pareto Principal, or the 80/20 rule. 80% of the crime is caused by the top 20% of people/streets etc. The neighborhood is still just as dangerous, and the problem is still just as...

    around half of all crime complaints or incidents of gun violence concentrated at about 5 percent of street segments or blocks in a given city.

    Now that we have clear evidence of the extraordinary concentration of that risk in American cities, we can and should follow those facts, not a theory that’s only ever been just that.

    This is the Pareto Principal, or the 80/20 rule.

    80% of the crime is caused by the top 20% of people/streets etc.

    The neighborhood is still just as dangerous, and the problem is still just as intractable, as you can't predict ahead of time which 20% to focus on.