One of the most interesting – and still debated – ideas in crime-fighting and sociology in the last few years came from an article in The Atlantic magazine by two sociologists called George Kelling and James Wilson. This was the inspiration for much of Bill Bratton’s work as Police Commissioner of NY City in the 1990s.
The theory holds that very small environmental factors or cues can have a catalytic effect on crime and antisocial behaviour. One broken window quickly leads to two – through the unconscious assumption that, since no one repairs a single window, the area is effectively lawless. Two broken windows lead to a break in. And so on…
#Ogilvychange are conducting a more artistic experiment in this area by painting local children on to the metal grey shutters of local businesses, in nearby Woolwich.