For a long time now I've told people one of the best ways to prevent crime is to pick up litter and plant a garden. Research not too long ago showed that litter and debris can make a neighborhood look attractive to would-be criminals -- it seems that bad guys think a run-down looking place will make easy pickings. And by gardening, you put more eyes on the street. That is to say, while you garden, you are a passive observer to all that goes on in the neighborhood. A potential criminal is likely to go elsewhere and do their crime when no one is looking. If everyone on your street is out gardening, then your whole neighborhood forms a vast visual and social network of crime prevention.
Now some urban residents of Japan have put this all to work as a part of their own crime fighting scheme, according to a report this week from Reuters. Check it out:
Residents Fight Burglars with Flower Power