Source: (2004) In, Roger Hopkins Burke, ed., Hard Cop, Soft Cop: Dilemmas and debates in contemporary policing. Cullompton, UK: Willan Publishing. Pp. 40-53.

While many offenses are major in impact, many others can basically be considered as incivilities. These include, for example, graffiti, vandalism, aggressive begging, and disorderly conduct in public. They are fairly common in every day life. As Alick Whyte remarks, they are often trivial inconveniences, offending our sensibilities and our desire for order. Nevertheless, they can cause actual harm (e.g., property damage), and they can degrade the quality of public, community life. Against this background, Whyte looks at the nature of the response and methods employed by the authorities in Germany to the problem of incivilities. This examination includes discussion of the following: public order, zero tolerance policing, and “broken windows" theory; the implementation of zero tolerance and “broken windows" theory in Germany; and comparison of the German experience with all of this to the British experience.