In 1982, the Broken Window Theory was born in the realm of social science. James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling proposed that broken or damaged windows for example that go unfixed send a message to potential vandals and criminals. These unrepaired windows signal that the property isn’t carefully cared for or monitored, making it the perfect place for crime.
Years later, author Malcolm Gladwell addressed this theory in relation to inner city subways and buses. Each night city workers would repaint and repair the public transportation. They replaced windows and removed graffiti, every single night. Over time, the crime rates reduced significantly. Crimes like public drinking, toll jumping and vandalism weren’t as frequent anymore.
This theory not only applies to public entities, but private homes and businesses as well. Homes with cracked windows and graffiti-filled doors essentially invite more vandals to add to the damage. When buildings look like they are properly taken care of, the risk of crime and unlawful behavior is discouraged and consequentially reduced.
It is because of the broken window theory that it is crucial to fix windows and vandalized parts of property consistently and quickly. The longer they remain damaged, the more time criminals have to observe, plan and commit an illegal act. Maintained, clean home and businesses reflect an environment of order and prevent not only minor crimes like vandalism but also major crimes like burglary.
Fixing a window as soon as it is broken gets the problem solved. However, if you wait until a few things around you house or office needs to be fixed it can cost you more money and in the mean time, more damage can be done. Repairing things along the way keeps your property looking nice, deterring criminals and saves you money.