Statistics show that the proliferation of short-term rentals on Airbnb does not directly affect the crime rate in the area.
Airbnb's short-term rental service is one of the pillars of the "new economy" that is rapidly changing the lives of people around the world. The arrival of Airbnb in new countries and cities makes life much easier for tourists, but locals often believe that this leads to an increase in crime in previously quiet areas. The authors of a new article, published in PLOS One magazine, analyzed the statistics and did find that Airbnb affects crime - but not in the way that disgruntled people think.
Babak Heydari and his colleagues from the American Northeastern University reviewed the data for Boston for 2011-2018, when the city saw a meteoric rise in Airbnb rentals, and at the same time the loudest protests. The authors compared the crime statistics in different districts and the number of rented housing in one or another period of time.
Curiously, violations such as noise at off hours, alcohol or drug intoxication, domestic violence, and disputes with homeowners have not changed in any way with the proliferation of Airbnb housing. According to scientists, frequent complaints about such conflicts are more likely associated with bars and nightclubs, which often operate in areas with the largest number of tourists.
Certain types of violent crime (robbery, brawling) do rise, but this does not happen until a year or more after Airbnb launched. According to scientists, this shows that vacationers themselves are rarely involved in such activities and just as rarely become their targets. Let's remind, earlier similar conclusions were made in the study of immigration.
Scientists believe that the massive proliferation of short-term rental housing is disrupting the way of life, undermining the "natural ability of the area to control crime." "The problem is not in the guests themselves," says one of the authors of the work, "but in the fact that you remove from the community some of the people who were formerly its members and participants in social interactions."