Criminologist George Kelling first came up with the “broken window” theory of crime back in 1982, before there was a computer on every work desk and an internet connection in everyone’s hands.

The concept — that if a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken — was used to turn around the fight against crime in New York, and is now widely embraced. As Kelling put it, “vandalism can occur anywhere once communal barriers ... are lowered by actions that seem to signal that ‘no-one cares’,” meaning that looking after the small issues helped prevent the bigger issues...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now