Dog Parks Cut Crime

As this map shows, crime in the area around Lakeview Park is high. In June 2011, there were three strong arm robberies during daylight hours within walking distance. Police departments across the country (and globe), are recognizing that taking a mostly unused spot and turning it into a dog park decreases crime, simply because people are using the space, and walking to and from it. Safety in numbers, and more eyes on the street.

Washington, DC: [Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein] explain[s] that the park he’s referencing might actually work because a dog park, playground, etc. will create a place people will use and that alone deters crime.”

Boston, MA: “It’s an effective tool,’’ said Boston police Superintendent William B. Evans, who heads the department’s bureau of field services. “People with dogs who are out in the neighborhood – that’s more eyes and ears for us.’’

Gahanna, OH: Deputy Chief of Police Ken Bell says dog owners at their dog park have been instrumental in curbing crime, “I think it’s just strength in numbers. A number of people down there with their dogs, and there’s a tendency to keep away that criminal element.”

England:  “Scheme organisers are hoping that as more people are out and about potential criminals will be deterred from committing a crime as they will be less likely to break into a house or car if someone is walking past.”

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  1. Let’s add to the comments from Ohio, Boston, Washington DC and ENGLAND ( fer Chrissakes) : Piedmont’s Linda Dog Park on Oakland Ave just down the road from Lake Merritt.

    Back about 10-ish years ago, when a simple dogs-allowed path became an enclosed park area encompassing a hillside, a gated dog entrance was place on the Oakland Ave side (still on Piedmont’s turf). Lo! Behold! Crime stats (home burglary, car theft etc) dramatically dropped. A few years ago …the gate was removed and that area became a continuous fence. Sure would be interesting to see if the stats reversed after dog walkers were no longer using that particular street to park their cars and thereby enter the the park from that street.

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