There’s this city in New Zealand called Christchurch (sister city to Darwin, Australia) which found a simple solution to their most pressing problem: shopping mall violence. Apparently playing Mozart over loudspeakers had a drastic effect on the number of anti-social incidents.
You see, back in 2008, shit at the Christchurch City Mall was getting real. Security reported 16 drug and alcohol related incidents. And in October, anti-social incidents were reported at a rate of 77 per week. I think I personally cause at least 77 anti-social incidents per week, but this is New Zealand and that’s how they roll there.
In June of 09, the city decided to start playing classical music over the loudspeakers. And exactly two years after the October of Mayhem the rate of anti-social incidents fell from 77 to 2, and troublesome, drunk, and/or drug-addled customers fell to zero.
But as it turns out this social experiment had just narrowly averted complete disaster:
Originally, Central City Business Association manager Paul Lonsdale intended to play easy listening music like Barry Manilow, but found classical music more calming.
And this raises a further question – if we can reduce violence and crime with music, maybe we can use music to increase crime and violence, too. So all cities should start Bizarro experiments similar to Christchurch, and whichever city’s band increases theft and fistfights the most wins.