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It might seem obvious, but scientists have shown pretty strong evidence that people, in general, are more likely to act in an anti-social manner, cush as stealing from a amialbox, if the thier physical suppoundings are dingy and covered by graffitte and trash.

This is the same idea the sheriff in rural Florida had, I think, when he told my mother that by keeping her yard neatly groomed and her hedges short, she would discourage potential burglars.

The message seems to be that people are more comfortable comitting crimes in settings that are less attractive and less hospitable.

Tom.

http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12630201
 

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It's been called the broken windows theory, and they used it in New York City to really reduce crime rates in the 90s
 
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