Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Erm . . .Gates?

A brief item by Otis White from the December 2005 issue of Governing magazine entitled "What Does a Gated Community Provide?"

"In an enterprising bit of reporting, the Orlando Sentinel looked at suburban crime statistics in Orlando, comparing property crimes in gated and ungated subdivisions. The Sentinel's finding: "Crime rates in ungated subdivisions are often as low as those in their gated neighbors." The Sentinel found that vandalism and smash-and-grab car burglaries were less frequent in gated subdivisions, but the more serious property crimes (home burglaries and car theft) were about the same. Even the makers of these gates admit they don't offer real protection. Gates are ineffective because everybody knows the codes. Some residents post the codes on garage-sale signs out by the main road. "What people are buying is the perception of security," one academic who has studied gated subdivisions told the newspaper. "What they may be buying more is a sense of eliteness, and I guess that's worth something to people.""

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