If Mu­sic be the Fuel Against Crime, Play On

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

“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.

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