Dave In Texas of the Ace of Spades has a look at an utterly inane ThinkProgress piece about population density and public safety that was prompted by the author being assaulted:
“higher density helps reduce street crime in an urban environment in two ways. One is that in a higher density city, any given street is less likely to be empty of passersby at any given time. The other is that if a given patch of land has more citizens, that means it can also support a larger base of police officers.”
I’m sure he’s smarter than me, because I don’t even understand his point. There’s a reduced street crime rate in urban environments other than where he happened to be walking, because of witnesses or something, and also more citizens of said urban area mean more cops, also not helpful with his particular incident.
How do you make this leap?
He then goes on to discuss the much more plausible and contrasting theory that “higher population density leads to higher crime because of the anonimity factor.”
If anyone wants to read the paper, the citation is:
Why Is There More Crime in Cities?
Author(s): Edward L. Glaeser and Bruce Sacerdote
Source: The Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 107, No. S6 (December 1999), pp. S225-S258
One of the commenters quickly, and correctly points out the Kitty Genovese tragedy and the lessons that we should have learned from that.
Really, there is an incredible wealth of good points being made by the various commenters. Go read Dave’s post and all the comments your have the attention span for.