The New York ‘miracle’

Maurice Punch

in Zero tolerance policing

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9781847420558
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304395 | DOI:
The New York ‘miracle’

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In the 1990s, the United States was enjoying economic prosperity, however there were two things afflicting the most powerful and wealthy country in the world. First, urban America was afflicted by high levels of crime and there was a widespread fear of crime. Second, some parts of the nation were suffering from appalling deprivation. The difference between private affluence and public squalor was stark and the conditions of the ghetto paralleled those of developing countries. Crime and urban blight was spoiling the American success story, however, things were about to change. This chapter discusses New York's criminological miracle which was spurred by three main factors: the implication of crime and disorder in economic life and the reputation of the city; the election of Guiliani who was determined to leave a mark on the city; and the leadership of William Bratton. Together, Bratton and Guiliani tackled New York's crime problem. They introduced zero tolerance policing and in the 1980s the expression entered political parlance as a term for resolute and unbending policy. In this chapter, the focus is on Bratton's strategy and policing methods. It discusses Bratton and his method of policing the city's subway system; Bratton and his method of reforming the corrupted and demoralized New York Police Department (NYPD); Bratton and his theory of ‘fixing broken windows’; and growing popularity and public acceptance of the zero tolerance policing (ZTP).

Keywords: United States; New York; William Bratton; crime problem; zero tolerance policing; New York Police Department; fixing broken windows

Chapter.  4909 words. 

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