In 1982, the broken windows theory was introduced by sociologists James Wilson and George Kelling. The broken windows theory is a subject of debate even today, and many criminology theorists have criticized this theory. Several empirical studies have confirmed the validity of broken windows theory, but it has received even larger critics. Critics of broken windows theory think that the theory is a fallacy and that it borders with causality. The theory states that if a building has few broken windows, and the windows aren’t repaired this will create a tendency for vandals to break more windows. Vandals will enter the building and they will continue destroying the building. Many theorists consider the experiment as the best confirmation of the broken windows theory. In the education system, the broken windows theory is often used to promote order in classrooms. It is also used as a motivation for criminal policy reforms. Theory takes a proactive stance towards criminality, i.e. it is best to prevent than to heal. Although, criminologists argue about causality, practical approach of theory is pointed on the reduction of crime. The broken windows theory makes two major claims, i.e. that further petty crime and low-level anti-social behavior will be deterred, and that major crime will be prevented. According to the theory, monitoring and maintaining urban environments in a well-ordered condition may prevent further vandalism as well as an escalation into more serious crime. Furthermore, broken windows theory suggests that a particular sequence of events could be expected in deteriorating neighborhoods and that an evidence of decay broken windows, accumulated trash, deteriorated building exteriors, which remains in the neighborhood for a reasonably long period of time causes people who live and work in the area to feel more vulnerable and to begin to withdraw. Theory can be applied on many areas of urban and rural development. Previous criminological studies, which  have researched "slums" came to the similar conclusion that the deterioration of necessary communal infrastructure and squalor will result with a drastic increase of insecurity and crime.

Exemplar Gratia, certain buildings will be more often subject to burglary than other buildings, especially when the building has unprotected and concealed entrances. There are various methods to protect the building from burglary, and it is commonly done by using various detectors such as dual technology, motion detectors or by using security doors and security windows with a protective layer. The causation aspect of this example is explained by a situational crime prevention theory.