Chirping birds reduce crime rate (from our “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” file)

Preventing criminal activity is a never-ending priority for public law enforcement officials. But a California mayor believes that chirping birds may be the 21st century antidote to rising crime rates.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Lancaster, CA Mayor R. Rex Parris has been broadcasting recordings of chirping birds along a half mile stretch of a main thoroughfare in his town for five hours daily for most of the past year. The result? The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which patrols Lancaster, reports a 15% decrease in minor crimes in the town, and a 6% decrease in major crimes, during the past year.

According to Parris, the recorded bird chirping subconsciously discourages criminality by fine-tuning brain chemicals. “Everybody is now in a better mood, a better place,” he says.

Some skeptics point out that criminal activity in Lancaster was on the decline even before Mayor Parris imported the recorded bird chirpings from England. But Captain Robert Jonsen of the Lancaster Sheriff Station says that the bird chirping is an important element in his town’s overall effort to reduce crime.


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