Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

A US study carried out in Portland Oregon suggests that large street trees may contribute to lower levels of crime.
Treehugger explains why
This seems to apply only to fully mature trees, small spindly trees (see below) don't have the same effect, but still another good reason to hug a (big) tree.

Spring trolley

Tags for Forum Posts: street trees, trees

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I suspect the same might be true for well maintained pavements. Contrast the areas of our Borough in which pavements are block paved with those which have been vandalised by having the flags ripped up and replaced with the cheapest tarmac badly laid. And this then adds value to the properties in the more desirable areas.
Yet another Scientific study using the "we've got evidence" argument that Richard Dawkins is so fond of.

Could you not also conclude that areas with bigger trees "are" better maintained, with better security, and possibly larger properties, thus the crime rate per square mile would be lower? Whilst I'm not saying that there is no statistical correlation between areas with large trees and reduced crime, this does not mean introduction of large trees will reduce crime.
I think that what you have said is exactly what they are saying, the existence of large trees sends out a message that these properties are more likely to have burglar alarms and better security so burglars are less likely to hang around than in areas where they can get in and out of properties easily.
"We believe that large street trees can reduce crime by signaling to a potential criminal that a neighborhood is better cared for and, therefore, a criminal is more likely to be caught,"

I don't think you would be able to simply introduce large trees to areas with high crime, but attention should perhaps be given to better preservation of the trees that are there (and not hack them down when no one is looking) and make street trees part of your overall planning for improving a neighbourhood.

Paul, I agree about pavements too. It's part of that same process of signalling. Although as we have said before, why most Ladder roads should be given tarmac when one or two are not remains a mystery to which we have no answer at this time
Interesting, but I err on the side of caution on this and start off by being somewhat sceptical about the meaningfulness of the apparent connection.
Hmm .. yes, correlation isn't causation - trees don't 'make' an area safer; they are simply symbolic of a set of other things that result in lower crime.

The researchers are certainly pushing it a bit in the way they report their findings. I sense the hands of a university PR department somewhere. Ben Goldacre would make mincemeat out of them.

None of which is to say that we shouldn't look after our trees. I still grit my teeth everytime I pass that bloody carpark on Green Lanes where the massive tree was cut down on Easter day a few years back, 'by mistake'...
Cause & Effect ?

I fear that I will never see
A research grant lovely as a tree -
Indeed, unless the crimestats fall,
I'll never see a tree at all.

(Tugs non-existent forelock towards Joyce Kilmer and Ogden Nash)



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