(CNN) - Taking care of vacant lots in neighborhoods could lead to a reduction in some types of crimes.

Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found transforming vacant lots into clean, green spaces makes it more difficult for people to hide illegal guns in the area.

It also makes it harder to conduct other illegal activities in the space, like drug deals.

Scientists say the ripple effect is that people also feel safer living next to a clean, green space.

The study is published online in Injury Prevention.

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