Good description of the Broken Windows policy from Hot Air:
The overarching goal of Broken Windows isn’t just the hope that by capturing and prosecuting “small” crimes you will occasionally drag a bigger fish in with the net. It’s about creating a civil, ordered atmosphere where residents can feel confident that the rule of law is being observed and that they will be protected if they choose to live a law abiding life. If the police won’t actively and aggressively pursue the punk who snatches a woman’s purse on the sidewalk, why should she feel confident that anyone will be there to protect her if a more violent thug drags her into a dark alley? If you want a neighborhood to prosper and grow, anyone opening a business should be able to feel secure that miscreants won’t be allowed to just casually smash their windows or spray graffiti on their door. If not, they should rightly doubt that the cops will do much to help them when somebody comes in with a gun to rob the joint.