Fido’s new “superpower”

Those living in neighborhoods with many dogs are safer because the presence of “Fido” helps reduce the crime rate. A study confirms this.

Living in a neighborhood where there are many dogs is safer. The presence of our four -legged friends is, in fact, a form of deterrence involved in reducing crime levels. If there are many dogs, for example, there is little theft and killing. Even if the figure is from a study done in the United States, where the rate of violence is typically higher than in Europe, it does not exclude that Fido can guarantee the same benefits anywhere. This is another “super power” given to these amazing animals, which is able to improve our lives from many points of view.

A U.S. research team led by scientists from the Department of Sociology at Ohio State University, working closely with colleagues from the Institute of Population Research and the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin . The researchers coordinated by Drs. Nicolò P. Pinchak reached their conclusions after statistically analyzing crime data between 2014 and 2016 in approximately 600 census areas-equivalent to neighborhoods-in the Columbus metropolitan area, the capital of Ohio with an estimated 900,000 inhabitants (in 2018). This data was combined with data from a marketing company – which asked families who attended in 2013 if they had a dog at home – and data from another study called Adolescent Health and Development in Context, which -assess how much residents in each neighborhood trust the people they trust. met on the road.

Combining all of this information, it becomes clear that neighborhoods with many dogs have lower rates of robbery and murder than those with small dogs. The researchers also noticed a decrease in aggression, albeit to a smaller extent than the other two factors. But why are dogs a crime prevention? It is easy to assume that where dogs live it is easier to be alerted by potentially suspicious people and minacce (reed only for the fact that the dog starts to abort), without this main motivation, and “dog walking”, the dog passes. In fact, those with a dog often have to take it out of the house for their needs and stretch their legs, so that the street is more experienced and has more eyes on the dangers. In addition, dogs, especially adults, can deter criminals from committing crimes. “People who walk their dogs primarily patrol their neighborhoods,” Drs. Pinchak in a press release. “They see if the flow is not good and if there are suspicious foreigners in the area. It can be a deterrent to delinquency, ”added the sociologist.

Past studies have shown the social value of living in a neighborhood, making it safer and more peaceful. Dog owners often stop by to chat, make friends, and often build trust with each other that benefits the entire community. But trust based on other assumptions does not always help against crime. “Trust isn’t very helpful in neighborhoods when there aren’t people on the street noticing what’s going on. That’s what dog walking can do,” Dr. Pinchak said. “And so dogs have an advantage over crime prevention than cats and other pets that don’t have to walk, ”said the expert. If we add to all this the“ guard ”instinct of man’s best friend, a virtuous circle is only possible. Even yet, it should be emphasized that this is an observational study, which did not find a significant relationship between the presence of dogs and crime reduction, even if statistically possible. The details of the study “Paws on the Street: Neighborhood-Level Concentration of Households with Dogs and Urban Crime ”published in the specialist scientific journal Social Forces.

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