Exeter Devon, UK: The results of a one year psychological study conducted by Dr. M. Shuttlecock, a noted London psychologist, has been published in the Surrey Psychological Observational Obsessive Functions (SPOOF) journal. The study investigated whether there is a relation between British football (soccer) and crime.
The research team selected Devon, a large county in southwestern England having a population of approximately 1.2 million people (11th largest in the UK) statistically large enough for sampling, but not too large. Geographically, the county shares borders with Cornwall to the west and Dorset and Somerset to the east. Its southern coast abuts the English Channel and its northern coast the Bristol Channel and Celtic Sea.
From their headquarters located in the historic city of Exeter the research team controlled electronic devices placed along the county's land and sea borders to block electronic radio, TV and Internet land line/wireless transmissions about football. All other football related activities were voluntarily suspended, including newspapers, magazines local amateur and professional club games, and school sponsored football games.
The residents of Devon were kept in the dark about football, so to speak. The research team collected statistical data during the football blackout period and the subsequent return to normalcy. Data analysis showed that major crime rates in Devon approached the levels of London, Liverpool and other large UK cities. However, fist fights, rival team muggings and football stadium riots decreased.
A side effect of the football-less period was that the Devon birth rate doubled, obesity went down as walking/running increased and junk-food consumption decreased, and the insanity rate went up. Beer and ale consumption remained flat. Following the return to normal football activities, all observed changes were quickly reversed.
The study was paid for by the Cricket Association of the UK.