There is a theory in law enforcement that goes something like this:
If someone breaks a window in a building, and it isn’t fixed quickly, others will soon be broken. As the evidence of neglect builds, vandals will be more emboldened to break into the building and commit more vandalism and eventually destroy it completely.
If, on the other hand, that window is promptly fixed, it discourages further crime because it is clear that someone is watching the store.
Further, if instead of just fixing the window, you find the vandal and hold them accountable for it, a message goes out loud and clear: we’re watching and you will get caught.
The problem with the broken windows theory is that it requires more than police action to put into practice. If the community isn’t involved in the cleanup effort, the initiative fails. When the community is drawn in to help police the problems, to report them and to ‘mind the store’, so to speak, crime rates drop.
This theory can be extended to police nearly any venue where there is unacceptable behavior – including the problem of click fraud in the venue of PPC advertising. At...