The theory is that a “broken window” (which can either be literal or metaphorical) gives the appearance that it and its surrounding area is vacant and free territory, free from surveillance and law. This current chapter (the power of context part 1) is about the tipping point of crime. Those criminal minded individuals that see this vacancy in a “broken window,” see it as an opportunity to express themselves freely and disgustingly in their insincere ways to others and their community.
When crime tips, it’s different than other tipping points that I’ve read about and have blogged about. I’ve learned that when crime is at it’s tipping point, there are many key factors that play a role in its abscess of tipping. From what would seemingly be the smallest of a crime could just be the underlying beast in disguise. Gladwell also takes into consideration to note of how crime will effect the most average of person, turning them into a person submittable to committing crime.
I didn’t think it at all strange when he suggested that people would almost always commit some sort of crime if they knew a majority of others are getting away with it, because it’s within human nature to take advantage of a “good” thing even if its not fare or right.
The simple and constant act of just cleaning graffiti from trains and subway areas for a short period of time helped play a part to tip the crime level to substantially low level in the 1980’s, within a mere 6 years, the subways were safe and cleaner than ever before. Many had thought graffiti to be the least of crime troubles, after studies and observation done by a select few it (graffiti) actually turned out to be it’s igniter fluid. Which sucks, I love looking at graffiti, it’s art!