The Law: What the Police Can--And Cannot--Do About Crime

MILLIONS of Americans in 1970 are gripped by an anxiety that is not caused by war, inflation or recession —important as those issues are. Across the U.S., the universal fear of violent crime and vicious strangers—armed robbers, packs of muggers, addict burglars ready to trade a life for heroin—is a constant companion of the populace. It is the cold fear of dying at random in a brief spasm of senseless violence—for a few pennies, for nothing.

Last fall the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence painted an eerie picture of the urban future: downtown areas deserted after...

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