Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Orange You A Criminal?

From the Telegraph (UK): 

Hardened criminals in the Netherlands become less aggressive and have fewer fights when exposed to the scent of oranges, a study has found.

Rotterdam police said the four week study suggested that criminals, many of them violent drug pushers, are calmer and more malleable when the perfumes are circulated through cell air vents.

The head of police social services, Herma Heester, said: "It's amazing, fighting in the cells has been dramatically reduced and we are using 10 per cent fewer sedation drugs".

While I'm not sold on the science of this study (4 weeks is not much time for a study and other factors may have been involved (perhaps there was also a great deal of pot smuggled in at the same time and everyone was calmed by that (or the inmates who were violent because their cellmates smelled bad were pleased that the scent of oranges covered up the scent of armpits))), it may explain why there is surprisingly little crime in the city I live in. There are thousands of Naranja Agria trees here and the fruit that falls from them is very sour and often left to rot on the ground. This, in turn, causes would-be-criminals to take a deep breath and smile rather than commit their crime of choice. 

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