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Saturday, 12 August 2017 17:38

London thinks classical music can help tone down crime

Written by  Dean Balsamini

Scotland Yard plans to pump classical music into a north London housing project to quell violence — but New York City won’t let Beethoven walk the beat.

Adam Weber, the constable in charge of law and order at the notorious Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham, was inspired to use calming tunes as a crime-fighting tool following a pilot program in the London Underground, where music was piped into 40 stations to reduce anti-social behavior, The Sunday Times of London reported.

Scotland Yard plans to pump classical music into a north London housing project to quell violence — but New York City won’t let Beethoven walk the beat.

Adam Weber, the constable in charge of law and order at the notorious Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham, was inspired to use calming tunes as a crime-fighting tool following a pilot program in the London Underground, where music was piped into 40 stations to reduce anti-social behavior, The Sunday Times of London reported.

The tactic was first tried in 2003 in a tube station with a gang problem. After the music began playing, robberies dropped 33 percent.

Weber said the experiment “was pretty effective. Incidents of verbal and physical abuse fell where it was installed, so I thought, ‘Let’s give this a go.’”

Relations between the 4,844 residents and the police have been bad for decades. A 1985 riot resulted in the murder of a bobby. Further rioting broke out in the summer of 2011 after police fatally shot a resident during an arrest.

Authorities in Gotham were singing a different tune.

“While Mozart is quite literally a classic, we trust NYPD’s current tactics as crime is at a record low in NYC. But if it was Bach, there would be no question,” quipped a City Hall spokeswoman.

The NYPD and Housing Authority declined to comment, but Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD detective sergeant and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, was skeptical.

“If playing Mozart would solve crime, it would have been used since the 1700s,” he said. “It doesn’t and it won’t.”


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