NYPD Issues 10,000 Tickets for Public Drinking as ‘Broken Window’ Policing Returns

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New York City’s police officers are cracking down on public consumption of alcohol having issued 10,000 tickets for it in the past year, according to the New York Post. The effort to curb drinking in public is part of Mayor Eric Adams’ and the NYPD’s response to the complaints that New York City’s “quality of life” has plummeted over the last few years. The fine is $25, and many argue that it’s not enough to be a deterrent.  

The idea of handing out tickets for public drinking is part of the police department’s “broken window” policing, which is a strategy used to prevent bigger crimes from happening. The New York Post reports “the drink tickets handed out between January and March accounted for nearly 12% of the 21,000 total criminal summonses issued during that time, according to the NYPD statistics.”


While some New Yorkers agree that public drinking should not be permitted in the city, others find the rule uncalled for with some noting that they pay taxes so they should be able to at least have the “right to drink in the park without being bothered.” One person interviewed even said that drinking in the parks should be “strongly encouraged.” 

Still, the problems that often come with drinking are raising concerns. Oftentimes drinking leads to fights, crime, or an unpleasant environment. Adams and the NYPD are trying to prevent such situations from taking over the city by using this strategy, which reportedly is what helped curb crime in the 1990s. The strategy is based on a theory developed by social scientists George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson, who claimed in a 1982 article, that “targeting little crimes like public drinking, loitering or vandalism helps halt big, violent crimes by building an aura of order and safety.”


Despite their efforts, crime remains high in the city at this point, but the over 60,000 calls the police received over the first part of the year may have prevented additional crimes or disturbances from happening. With the high rate of crime in the city, any effort to help make the streets a little safer is likely appreciated.

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