5 Creative Ways Cops Are Cutting Down on Crime
Could these innovative ideas handcuff criminals?
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Track it like an earthquake
Police departments in six states are employing “predictive policing” to stop crime before it starts, using the same mathematical formulas that seismologists use to predict earthquake aftershocks to analyze information about previous infractions. “We’re looking for the thing that will take us to the next level [in crime prevention],” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told Los AngelesTimes reporter Joel Rubin. “I firmly believe predictive policing is it.”
Lower our exposure to lead
A study from Amherst College suggests that the removal of lead from paint and gasoline in the 1970s and 1980s brought about a 56 percent drop in violent crime in the 1990s. “Lead exposure appears to impair…cognition and reduce impulse control,” writes Jessica Wolpaw Reyes, lead author of the study. Other experts suggest that reducing lead in homes and businesses now could yield a 10 percent drop in crime over a few decades.
Install more street lights
Experiments in Britain suggest that something as simple as lighting a dangerous area can significantly reduce crime. When officials installed street lights every 100 feet along a mile-long stretch Dudley, England, crime dropped 41 percent over four weeks. A trial in Stoke-on-Trent, England, produced similar results.
Play classical music
Anecdotal evidence suggests that blasting classical music in dangerous areas can help deter bad behavior. In London in 2004, British Transport Police piped the tunes into tube stations with high crime rates, and over six months’ time, robbery and vandalism in the stations each decreased more than 30 percent. Experiments in Los Angeles and West Palm Beach have had similar results.