Could your neighbourhood influence your behaviour? 

The “broken window theory” states that visible signs of crimeanti-social behaviour in the public space such as littering, graffiti, broken windows encourage further minor crimes and disorder. 

This happens because people look to other people in deciding how to behave in an environment and are more likely to do what other people have done. So if there is litter in the streets, you are more likely to litter. If there is a broken window, more windows get broken. 

The antidote to the broken window effect is something called “collective efficacy”, which really means the degree to which people get involved in their neighbourhood’s life. Do people know their neighbours? Would they stop and help a stranger? Would they stop a fight in the street? When collective efficacy is high, crime rates are low no matter how many broken windows there are.