hello 16 Strange and Dubious Crime Deterrents

16 Strange and Dubious Crime Deterrents

You have to wonder if these odd attempts to prevent crime are even worth the effort…

Anti-Stab KnivesAnti-stab knife
Sure to be a hit with reluctant murderers, this British invention has has a rounded edge instead of a point and will snag on skin, making it “almost impossible to stab someone to death.” So, instead of dying, you’ll just suffer the excruciating pain of having your skin “snag” on a knife as a would-be killer tries repeatedly to stab you.


Vending machine disguiseVending machine disguise
Japanese designer Aya Tsukioka created a woman’s skirt that can be transformed into a faux vending machine if the woman wearing it ever feels threatened and wishes to hide from her attackers. No word on what happens if someone tries to insert a coin.



Policewoman cardboard cut-outPolice cardboard cut-out
Ten cardboard cut-outs of a policewoman have been placed in strategic locations in Derbyshire, England to deter shoplifters, gas thieves and, apparently, criminals who are very nearsighted. To date, at least three have been stolen.


Fox urineFox urine
Wondering what you should do with all that fox urine you have lying around? University of Nebraska officials have an answer: spray it on your outdoor valuables. Evergreen trees on campus, a popular item to steal around the holidays, are routinely sprayed with fox urine to deter theft. Fox pee, it seems, has a strong odor that gains in intensity if stored indoors, as most Christmas trees are. Of course, you wouldn’t be able to tell this until after you’ve already stolen the tree. The moral: if you steal a University of Nebraska tree, wash your hands.



Physiological TesterPush-button car
The Physiological Tester was an experimental anti-drunk driving device that was tested on General Motors vehicles in 1971. It consisted of a digital display that flashed a five-digit code number that had to be repeated on a numerical keypad by the driver before the car would start. The theory was that a driver who was drunk or high (or illiterate) wouldn’t be able to input the numbers correctly within the three allotted attempts. After the third failed try, the Tester would presumably say, “I’m afraid I can’t do that, Dave.”



CD safeCD safe
A safe designed as a stack of CDs? You have to wonder about the logic of storing your valuables in something a burglar might actually want to steal.



Acne-accentuating lightsAcne-accentuating lights
In an effort to drive away loitering teens, homeowners’ associations around England are installing fluorescent pink lights — used by dermatologists to highlight acne during examinations — in “punk kid” gathering spots. “Holy crap, we’re hideous! Let’s get outta here!”




Car flame throwerCar flame thrower
A flame thrower, marketed as “The Blaster,” is a legal option on some South African cars. Controlled by a pedal inside the vehicle, the Blaster sprays liquefied gas from beneath both front doors that is then ignited by an electric spark. The inventor has claimed that the flame is not lethal, but that “it would definitely blind a person.” I’m sure this won’t be abused in any way.


Manhole purseManhole purse
From the creator of the Japanese vending machine disguise comes this woman’s purse that resembles a manhole cover, because tossing your bag on the ground is much more useful than using it to bash a mugger over the head.




Anti-rape condom

Anti-rape condom
The toothed vagina, or vagina dentata, is a mythological legend no more. Now, there’s Rape-aXe, the South African anti-rape condom that women insert in their vaginas to prevent unwanted entry. It contains sharp hooks that latch onto the offending penis, buying the woman enough time to escape. Just make sure to remove it before consensual sex.



Brad PittBrad Pitt
Police in the Siberian city of Omsk, Russia are using cardboard cut-outs of actor Brad Pitt to curb speeding. The cut-outs are placed at dangerous intersections in the city to draw drivers’ attention away from the gas pedal. The recent surge in rubbernecking accidents is no doubt coincidental.



Pig lardPig lard
To deter Palestinian suicide bombers in Jerusalem, Israeli police have used bags of pig lard stored on buses, a popular target for terrorists. Theoretically, Muslim bombers wouldn’t want their dead bodies sullied by pig fat, which is forbidden in their religion’s dietary guidelines. That said, it’s also taboo in Judaism, so the plan might deter riders as much as bombers.



Prison rent

Prison rent
In Springfield, Oregon, the prison has begun charging inmates $60 a night to stay there — or roughly the same rate as the local Super 8 Motel. What seems like a punishment is seen by at least one city councilman as a deterrant: “The message I want to send up front is it doesn’t pay to commit crimes in Springfield.” However, the feasibility of collecting the “rent” is dubious; what are they going to do if the prisoners don’t pay, put them in jail?



Eye postersEye posters
Inspired by a British psychological study on human behavior, police in British cities like Birmingham and Ashington have bought into the old-fashioned Big Brother method of social control — by placing large posters of eyes in public areas, accompanied by the ominous slogan “We’ve got our eyes on criminals.” This campaign has proven much more successful than the previous effort, “We’ve got our tongues on law-abiding citizens.”



Blue lightsBlue lights
Blue streetlights, believed by some to have a calming effect on people, have been cited as a cause for a decline in violence in Glasgow, Scotland and a decline in suicides in Nara, Japan. However, the benefits are tempered by an unexpected side effect: the proliferation of K-Mart shoppers.



Underwear safeUnderwear safe
A safe modeled after dirty briefs? OK, but the only problem is that when thieves catch on, you’ll have to up the ante by finding a more disgusting hiding place — like a jug of fox urine.



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