Quiet-List 1997

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"Quality of Life" and Violent Crime

>From several articles I have read, there seems to be a wide-spread belief
developing among law enforcement officials in the US that cracking down on
"quality of life" issues like noise pollution, graffiti and vandalism, have
a positive impact on the levels of more serious crime, including assualt
and murder. Apparently, this has something to do with nipping anti-social
behavior in the bud. (Or perhaps a quieter city is a less violent one?)
This attitude is usually attributed to New York City officials who have
credited NYC's dramatic decrease in violent crime over the last few years
to be a side-effect of the city's tough  enforcement of its new noise
ordinance and other "quality of life" ordinances.

If this is in fact true, it is a compelling argument for the adoption of
tougher noise ordinances and better enforcement, and an effective counter
to the argument that the police have "better things to do" than enforce the
noise laws.

NYC has recently tripled its already stiff fines for noise violations, now
including fines of up to $525 on a third offense for barking dogs , $750
for a third car alarm offense, and $24,000 on loud nightclubs for a third
offense. It will be interesting to see whether this new noise ordinance can
stand the test of time.

I am wondering if anyone is aware of any research that has been done on the
subject of quality of life enforcement and its impact on more serious
crime? I think it would be good information to have handy when advocating
for tougher noise ordinances.


Sean Conlon

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