Mike has called on Brighton & Hove City Council to address the problem of smashed windows and vacant shops on the busy central thoroughfares of Western Road and Church Road.
After conducting a survey and discussing the issue with shopkeepers on the two roads, Mike promised to raise the issue with the local authority. Mike has now written to John Barradell, Chief Executive of Brighton & Hove City Council, to find out what plans the council has to remedy the situation.
Other cities have embraced what is known as ‘Broken Windows Theory’. It was first introduced by social scientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in 1982 in an article entitled “Broken Windows”. The name came from the following example within the article: “Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside.”
Broken Windows Theory has been the subject of much debate over the past week following the recent riots. It was embraced by New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. This saw petty crime and, indeed, serious crime rates fall dramatically.
In his letter to Mr Barradell, Mike said: “Counting the number of vacant shops from Churchill Square all the way along to the start of New Church Road, there were 25 in total. This is a sad state of affairs, but I have less sympathy with the fact that there were 23 shops (open and vacant) with smashed windows.”