As part of its efforts to fight burglaries, Athens-Clarke Co. Police Department might want to consider encouraging residents to plant lots of flowers in the hardest hit neighborhoods.
According to public safety officials in at least one city, planting flowers in residential neighborhoods seems to deter burglaries. Here’s the logic: Planting flowers in front of homes gets people outside to take care of the plants, and while they’re out and about they can see who else is out and about. More eyes on the street = less crime.
Supposedly, Operation Flower in Suginami, a district of Tokyo, helped reduce break-ins by 80 percent over six years.
Planting flowers was only part of a multi-part effort that also included volunteer patrols and security cameras, so it’s not clear how much crime fighting power flowers actually have.
Maybe here in Athens vegetable gardens would work better than flower beds at getting people out and training more eyes on the street.
Still, the general idea of enhancing the natural attentiveness of local residents to deter crime is a promising one. Consider flower planting as a way of adding some pleasure and beauty to the chore of the neighborhood watch.
Looked at this way, the idea of crime-fighting flowers doesn’t sound as silly.