mercredi 18 janvier 2023

Zero Tolerance, the New York example - English Version


Zero Tolerance, the New-York example
"English Version

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Rudolph GIULIANI,  mayor of New York in 1995 during the 150 years of the NYPD
Rudolph GIULIANI became mayor of New York in 1994. The city then has an extreme crime rate, with an average of more than 1,800 murders per year (the number peaking in 1990 at 2,262 murders), the southern neighborhoods of the city such as Harlem, Downtown and the South Bronx are the ground of wars between rival gangs. More than a million residents out of 7.5 million live on welfare and Central Park has become one of the most dangerous places to be after dark...

Illustration image
Rudolph GIULIANI is a lawyer by training. He was Associate Attorney General of the USA and has a reputation of incorruptibility... His solution to bring a lasting peace to the city is "Zero Tolerance". This principle is based on the "Broken Window Theory": If one window in a building is not repaired quickly, the next ones that are intact will be broken as well. For the two criminologists, James WILSON and Georges KELLING, who developed this theory, the lack of reaction to disorder favors the increase of delinquency...

Police officers in the New York subway in the 80s
This leads to damage, tagging, drug and alcohol consumption on the public highway, the presence of delinquency in the public space, creates a feeling of insecurity for the inhabitants and increases the power of delinquents...

Window cleaner in the 80's
Rudolph GIULIANI is going to repress all the offences, even the most minor, noticed in the public domain... There is no social excuse. One of his first measures will be on the windshield washers who were near the bridges and tunnels, asking for the coin for the washed windshield. Since they were not a threat to anyone, he justified the expulsion of these people by fining them for crossing outside the crosswalks. By dint of being fined and summoned to court, these individuals stop...

Police officer in front of turnstiles in the New York subway
Rudolph GIULIANI will also increase the NYPD with more than 10,000 additional police officers. Officers disguised as tramps will arrest pickpockets in flagrante delicto and others in uniforms will catch turnstile cheats: 1/7 of those arrested had a warrant for their arrest and 1/15 carried a weapon... This will bring down theft, fraud and panhandling in the subway...

Two NYPD police cars in the 90s
Consequent means with new cars, as well as legal authorizations for the controls will be brought. As well as a computer tool that will map in real time the number of thefts and the location of the offences allowing quick arrests of the offenders...

Arrests and searches of 3 people in a New-York street
"Stop and frisk" will allow the search of any person deemed suspicious... Offenders fearing to be arrested at any moment leave their weapons at home... Petty crime is rapidly decreasing. But some people denounce police brutality following blunders committed by the police...

Eric GARNER's arrest in New York in July 2014
The muscular arrests, when people struggle, sometimes generate tragedies, as in 2014, during the arrest of a man who had died during his interpellation. This man who was asthmatic was tackled to the ground and held by two policemen leaning with all their weight to keep him on the ground... This one tackled to the ground will have a respiratory failure and dies shortly after...

NYPD police officers in front of Time Square in the 2010s
From 1994 to 2000, the crime rate in New York City will drop by more than 57%. Starting in 1996, there are less than 1,000 homicides per year. The streets are clean and paved and you can walk again in many neighborhoods... New buildings are built on the ruins of previous ones and become fashionable. Tourists and financiers are coming back to the Big Apple...

Tip of Manhattan Island in the late 90's
Other reasons are also given for these results: the end of the gang war with drugs, but also a gentrification of the neighborhoods with rehabilitations started in the early 90s,
as well as the decrease of unemployment...

NYPD armored car during an evacuation of a squat in the early 90's
We can also note a negative effect: the fact of being able to easily stop and search individuals considered suspicious in pacified neighborhoods has created a feeling of persecution and rejection among ethnic minorities: in a 2000 survey, 61% of New Yorkers approved of the work of the police, but 42% of the black population and 36% of the Hispanic population said they were afraid of police officers in uniform.

Police station in Time Square in the 2010s
We can also note that for some sociologists, this theory has its limits: For Laurent MUCHIELLI (2002 article published in Hommes et libertés): "if such a policy is not devoid of effects on the tranquility of the public street, its medium and long term effectiveness in the fight against crime remains to be demonstrated." It should also be noted that over the period 1994 to 2000, there was a decrease in delinquency due to economic factors such as the decrease in unemployment, as well as a decrease in the number of young people in the New York population, which can be one of the factors that aggravate delinquency
depending on their behavior.

Police officers of the "HERCULE NYPD Team" unit in the New York subway
To face the terrorist risk in the city, it will also create just after the attacks of September 11, 2001, a task force, "HERCULE NYPD Team", whose purpose is to move in the streets and subways of New York, as well as to be placed in areas at risk as the Stock Exchange or places with high tourist density...

Police officers of the NYPD ESU unit in position on a New York street.
These units can also be supported by the NYPD ESU.

   - English Version -

Several CRV's on standby before a Surge Drill leaves.
To complement these units and show the presence of the New York Police Department, units from the CRV (Critical Response Vehicle) rapid response patrols create a SURGE DRILL: they move all sirens blaring through the streets, as seen in the video below.

Video of a NYPD Surge Drill
in a street of New York

Two NYPD officers in the New York subway, early 2010s
In 2014, with 8.4 million people, the murder figure in New York City fell below 350 victims. As a reminder, the highest number was reached in 1990 with 2,262 murders, when the city had 7.5 million inhabitants.

NYPD police officers in a static position during a parade, late 2010s
The Big Apple spends a lot of money in the police presence, with always a very important police force of more than 35.500 officers, a dense network of video surveillance and an extensive computerized file of the people who had to deal with the justice...

NYPD police officer in a static position in Central Park - 2010s
The design of the public domain and the police presence in the city are carried out by the policy of "Situational Prevention": it is a method that gathers measures that prevent the passage to the delinquent act, by modifying the public arrangements and creating a dissuasion on the risk for him to be arrested...

NYPD officer searching a passerby with a metal detector
These methods consist, among other things, in increasing the difficulty of the act and the risk of being caught by means of controls and urban planning.

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