The project tests the impact of a broken windows policing approach upon 108 street segments, divided equally and randomly into treatment and control locations, that evidenced relatively high levels of crime and disorder for three cities in the San Bernardino Valley area of California (Redlands, Colton, and Ontario), over a time period of six months. The study is twofold, collecting both administrative police data on crime as well as survey data from residents and business owners in the area. The survey portion of the study was collected by phone from 371 residents and business owners in each street segment and were administered in two waves. These surveys were taken by the same respondents both before and after the police intervention in order to gauge their perceptions of crime and disorder on an individual level as well as the success of the intervention program. Questions to the respondents inquired about their perceptions of disorder and crime on their street, as well as fear and collective efficacy. Phone surveys were given in either Spanish or English, based off of the preference of the interviewee. The broken windows policing intervention portion of the study had three central principles. First, no discovered physical or social disorders should go ignored by the police in the target segments. Second, social disorder was to be dealt with in an escalating fashion with citations and arrests as the last resort options. Third, the key element of dealing with physical disorder was rapid repair. Police were to notify the relevant agencies for cleanup of graffiti, trash and other physical disorder issues, and then follow up with them if needed to make sure the problems were dealt with as quickly as possible. Arrests were to be the last choice of action. In order to best serve the project, and their community, it was decided that three hours of police presence per week would be implemented on each target segment throughout the intervention period. Officers involved in the project were put through a training program about broken windows policing theory and the study and intervention design. This included training protocol on how to address specific types of disorder in hopes of ensuring consistency throughout the police intervention. Police were also trained on how to fill out the required log sheets of the event in order to track the type of crime and how it was dealt with.
|Date made available