Crimes Dropping Due To Cell Phones?

The spread of mobile phones has been attributed great advantages and, no less, a lot of side effects. Some people even consider them an effective embankment against crime. Among these Lena Edlund, economist of Columbia University, and Cecilia Machado of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (an important Brazilian institute of training for managers) who have elaborated a hypothesis: the arrival of mobile phones in the US in the 90 In particular, the sudden spread of cell phones between 1990 and 2000 could have brought down the number of murders between 19 and 29%.

Goodbye, street sales. The two researchers used the data collected by the Federal Commission for Communications on the use of cellular infrastructure and compared them with the FBI statistics on murders across the country: their hypothesis was supported mainly in urban areas, where mobile phones spread. “We assume that the spread of mobile voice and text services will reduce murders in particular due to the reduction of the role of the sale of illicit drugs in the street,” is stated in the introduction of the study.

“Before the advent of mobile phones, street sales were the way end users bought drugs… The mobile phone reduced “dependence” from such places.” In other words, no longer having to guard the territory, drug dealers would have been less exposed to attacks by rival clans and gangs.

As a result, even the weakest gangs have been able to continue to earn money with the drug business, preventing a dominant entity from taking place in murders and putting its hands on the entire market. All this, according to Edlund and Machado would have lost a lot of fascination to the gangs, thus reducing the number of components.

Moreover, the possibility of contracting illegal purchases on the phone has also ended up exposing customers to a lower risk of robbery. A possible side effect: cell phones may have contributed to the spread of drugs, but the two researchers stress that they have focused exclusively on (if any) the relationship between cell diffusion and the reduction of murders.

Confirmed. The study in question is not the first to relate the spread of mobile phones to the decline of crime (not only murders, therefore) in the US in the 1990s. Other criminals have pointed out, for example, how mobile phones have enabled people to promptly warn the police in the event of crimes, further contributing to security in cities. But there are those who claim that the issue is much more complex: “It is not inconceivable that mobile phones have contributed to this, but 20-30% seems too much,” he told the Atlantic Inimai Chettiar, director of the Justice Programme.

Less crime. The topic has been fascinating for years scholars in the US, because the reduction in the number of crimes in the early 1990s in the country to stars and stripes is a fact. The causes were not fully understood. Some politicians have attributed their merit, such as Rudolph Giuliani with the application of Zero Tolerance theory. Some people link him to the most diverse reasons, such as the fall in inflation or the death of crack consumers. Maria Tcherni-Buzzeo, a criminologist from the University of New Haven, found 24 possible explanations.

There are also those who propose another key to “technological” reading such as Graham Farrell, a criminologist at the University of Leeds: according to him, the reduction of crimes is also associated with the advent of better security systems such as CCTV cameras.

Finally, some point out that the decline of crime in the early 1990s should not be studied as much as its explosion in the previous 20 years: the next decrease, in this hypothesis, would be simply physiological.

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