Some positive PR for NYC – real facts and real crime reduction

NycsubwayThe NYT is reporting on another significant drop in crime in NYC this year.  As a child I lived for 5 years in Bridgeport Connecticut and had the opportunity to take the A train to The House the Ruth Built.  This was before they even tried to remove graffiti from the subway and it was pretty much a moving crime zone.

Gladwell’s Tipping Point highlights the power of the broken windows theory of crime prevention which I agree with.  From the article:

Crime Numbers Keep Dropping Across the City 

Published: December 31, 2005

Crime has fallen across New York City for the 17th consecutive year, with subway crime down by more than 5 percent from last year and the number of recorded murders virtually certain to be the fewest in any single year since 1963, new Police Department statistics show.

There are those who don’t believe in the broken windows theory and perhaps there is evidence that it is coincidence.  Unfortunately my current location in Houston is NOT enjoying a drop in crime.  The article continues:

New York’s continuing decline is in contrast to some other cities across the nation. After years of falling crime, Boston is now experiencing a surge in homicides. Houston has seen more killings in 2005. In Philadelphia, murders are outpacing last year’s rate. Some law enforcement officials have attributed rising murder rates outside of New York to use of the drug methamphetamine.

In closing this post first congratulations on the measurable results New York City.  Job well done.  Second, perhaps the next steps are to take a serious look at our probably and parole systems to create continuous improvement.  If you are still up for some more reading, here is a good place to start with a brief excerpt:

‘Broken Windows’ Probation: The Next Step in Fighting Crime

… Americans are almost as dubious about the future efficacy of the criminal justice system as they are about the future solvency of the Social Security system. That is why crime remains a top public concern, despite these unbelievable drops.

and

The report being released today by the Manhattan Institute and the American Probation and Parole Association on how to reinvent probation puts probation squarely in the center of this new fight against crime.