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SOC316H5 (66)


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University of Toronto Mississauga
Zachary Levinsky

Outline: CPSD Wrap up, Broken Windows, Situational Crime Prevention (SCP), CPTED, Critiques of SCP/CPTED Next few weeks are of CP in the city – how do cities address problems such as crime? CPSD – Summary - CP is extensive - Broad approach - Targeted at risk factors – what are the particular risk factors in a neighborhood? - Death of the social? Recall Rose: Death of Society after Welfarism - Start activating communities - CP is targeted at social, not just concerned with crime – social still seems to relevant, element of community - Hubs o Community development – community still has an active role in identifying issues o Inter-agency cooperation – how do you bring together two different organizations/agencies with separate goals?Agencies could direct persons to the agency which will satisfy the persons’needs vs. not knowing other agencies and being able to provide information - City of Toronto: priority neighborhoods – so city can identify resources, issues, etc. of those neighborhoods; created in response to youth deaths although we know homicide rates are not useful to follow year to year (overall trend is downwards or stable; spike in a year wont make much difference) o How do they find these neighborhoods? Using Urban HEART ranking (article will be posted) looking at crime rates only, especially homicide rates o Rates that aren’t really about crime are also measured: marginalization, post- secondary completion; participating in decision making: voting; health issues; physical environment does the community have places for meeting (or are they stranded), walk score, green space, health food stores Broken windows came out in the 80s - Wilson and Kelling theorists come up with this; broken window left unattended – nobody cares about this neighborhood: these little signs add up  littering, eventually invites more criminals - Picked up by police department in the 80s How Broken Windows ‘works’ - Simplistic theory - Beggars, littering, graffiti, poor lighting, panhandlers, etc. - People begin to withdraw, retreat; afraid of going outside b/c predators are everywhere - Small things like litter lead to increased predators and crime since no one cares about the neighborhood - Spiral of crime - Product of 70s and 80s where it begins to emerge since worried about crime in the subways - Was a strategy to clean up and deal with subways which had become a problem in NY subways – police officers had to deal with these minor things to prevent crime - Circle cities: more often seen in USAthan Canada, downtown business core then go home to suburbs after work, only people living in city are those who cannot afford to move, crime exists in the city Contrast BW and CPSD - We can see how they are different strategies entirely – but do they also share commonalities as well? First half of course is evident in both - How do they link to the first half of the course? - Next few weeks will involve simplistic theories - How do we go from BW to cracking down, or zero tolerance? From Broken Windows to Zero Tolerance - ZT: eliminate nuisances previously tolerated - Police were focusing on major things instead of minor, such as j-walking - Arresting for public disorder was considered wasteful, not something the police were supposed to do - Empowers police to stop, arrest and make searches o NYC today: Stop and Frisk policies still exist although zero tolerance has declined o Detaining people for minor issues – panhandlers o Safe streets act – cracking down on aggressive panhandlers b/c they are a physical sign of disorder and will invite higher levels of crime into the city - Discriminatory in practice o People who are visible, which becomes minrotity populations o Street crime, not on Bay Street = so no corporate criminals - Increased excesses for prevention (The G20 and Don Jail) o Were allowed to lock up people with no reasons or charges o Protestors - Kelling and Coles: BW not linked to ZT o How do you deal with these problems by not increasing police powers and focusing on minor things? o Clear that ZT is close to this o Now police are active in CP, and theory supports high level police involvement - Wacquant: ZT is a new right ideal o Political reaction against the welfare state o People have a negative response to homeless people, lights flickering  unsafe o To Wacquant ZT is like BW – right winged reaction - Crime a lens to view the poor and marginalized o Link them to crime although not involved themselves, such that they eventually become criminal and their neighborhoods become labeled as dangerous o As undeserving, deviant, dangerous and different o Focus on that they are criminogenic, will bring criminal class, instead of helping them The politics of BW/ZT - Massive scandal 60-80s in police force, so shake in public confidence in them - People feel safer if police are out of car walking – safer b/c see them around (excluding school context where officer is carrying a gun) - Recover public confidence in police - Pressure on police/cities to produce results: State cannot really solve crime but still demand that police do more - Difficult to shrug off full responsibility for crime control – still pressure to do something about crime, particularly in face of scandals and public outrage, where police are naturally first to be looked at and/or blamed for not doing their job even though we know they can’t control/solve crime - An authoritive approach to crime – appeals to public sentiment (populism): let’s get tough on crime, label poor as criminal - The impression that ‘something is being done’such as safe streets act cracking down on panhandlers, squeegee kids, etc. Don’t argue against it b/c want safe streets. Politics is wrapped up in naming legislation. How do you argue against them? - Exemplifies the sovereign mode of state action: still doing something even though know cannot control or solve Critiques of BW/ZT - Kick out undesirables to improve quality of life of everyone else in the neighborhood - Urban development happening, not about economic integration, influx of upper middle class into a neighborhood and push out lower class already living there - Disorderly interfere with commercial interests or affluent residents - Although streets are public space, certain people have more rights to be there – drunks and homeless are interfering with it  similar to malls, homeless aren’t seen in there and if so, are kicked out b/c infringing others’rights/desire to spend money - Focus less on middle class or other more serious crime (white collar crime)  focused on visible forms, such as youth hanging out, and street crimes - Displacement - Not addressing root causes - Supposed decline in crime rate – generally what supporters say - BUT: partially due to overall decline in crime across nations - Crime was not only going down in NYC, also going down everywhere else where these initiatives were not present - Crime rates decreasing across the west, and nobody really knows why - Possibility that abortion becoming legal resulted in less children being born marginalized so crime declined BUT nations where it was already legal such as Sweden and Canada still had crime rates continuing to drop - No need for cooperation or negotiation with police - ‘governing through vague terms’– politics sounds like something is being done, ambiguity
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