There are tons of dogs that are employed by police officers to combat criminal activity, but it turns out that simply walking your dog can help combat neighborhood crime rates.
A recent study from The Ohio State University and the University of Texas at Austin, published in the journal Social Forces, found that communities in Columbus, Ohio with greater concentrations of dog owners experienced fewer incidences of crime. These researchers examined crime rates from 2014 to 2016 with 595 Census groups as well as data from a 2013 survey about dog ownership. They also examined information measuring the level of trust between residents in a given neighborhood.
They found that areas with high levels of neighborhood trust had lowered crime, while areas with high levels of trust and greater concentrations of dogs were lower still. They found that the dog-heavy areas saw just two-thirds the number of robberies and half the number of murders compared to low-trust areas.
The study suggests that owning a dog brings with it a greater level of community involvement. If you own a dog, you’re walking a dog, which means having more sets of eyes in a community as well as opportunities to interact with neighbors.
“People walking their dogs are essentially patrolling their neighborhoods,” Nicolo Pinchak, the study’s lead author, said in a press release. “They see when things are not right, and when there are suspect outsiders in the area. It can be a crime deterrent."
So Tanglewood neighbors, keep walking your dogs around the neighborhood! Remember to pick-up after your pets and keep being a good neighbor.