If Music be the Fuel Against Crime, Play On
“If music be the food of love, play on,” said the Bard. Now, Scotland Yard wants to use music to fight crime. Having observed that piping music into 40 London underground stations reduced anti-social behaviour, both physical and verbal, newly recruited Constable Adam Weber decided to pump Mozart into a rough housing estate he was supposed to police. However, he also had the bright idea that if power supply could be cut to a part of the estate known to be a place where gang members hung out, their phones would run out of charge by evening and a lapse in communications would abort some crime. The flaw in the second proposal would strike anyone in India, who is familiar with the tendency of their phones to die long before a normal workday’s quota of WhatsApp videos has been consumed, and have identified a remedy in the power bank that has swiftly evolved into a dutiful chaperone to the ubiquitous phone. If London’s gangsters could not lay their hands on at least a 10,000-mAh power bank to back up their phones, they would have stuck to nicking school lunches. Constable Weber’s plans might go the way of the best-laid plans of mice and better men. But music does have a long history as a tool of manipulation, as the rats that the pied piper led into the waters of the Weser could have testified, had they not been dead.