A Hospital Tells Police Where Fights Happen, And Crime Drops

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/09/19/224052451/a-hospital-tells-police-where-fights-happen-and-crime-drops

There’s pros and cons to everything.

In many ways, this is a wonderful example of research actually being used in a useful way, in my opinion.

I do wonder what the responses were on the parts of consumers and business establishments to these mandates, though. Plastic cups, for example- brilliant, in a sense, but what was the cost to the pubs and clubs to make the switch? What are the fines and/or costs to violating the no-glass-cups order? What’s the cost to the environment to be using more plastic? More to the point- *is it patronizing?* (Couldn’t we also just force all drunk people to wear helmets and mittens?)

Always interesting to consider the tradeoffs that can be made between safety and freedom. I greatly like the idea of harm reduction and policy change towards that, as an extremely general rule. But the
closure of “trouble spots” starts to wander into “too-far” territory. Before I could judge it one way or another, I’d need to know exactly what these “big trouble spots” were, and what options were provided to their owners. Heck, I’d need the whole history and backstory to the culture around each “trouble spot,” the “trouble” it tended to attract, why that was the case, and that sort of thing. And, of course, as this is a study done within a specific location, whether eliminating these trouble spots actually *reduced* violence, or just moved it. (Best guess: It probably did both.)

Not that my judgement means anything. I certainly hope that the people behind making this policy also thought through all the subtle nuances. They may have. If they did, they’re better than most.

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