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Street Lighting and crime


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#1 marralass

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:28 AM

Some councils are reducing or turning off street lighting late at night and there are always suggestions that it will increase crime but I'm doubtful.

Lets look at the practicalities for average people firstly. Lets say the lights go off at 11pm in residential areas and come back on at 6am when necessary.
Torches are now small and lightweight, batteries last for days, then there's rechargeable batteries, wind-up torches etc. Cars have perfectly adequate lights for getting around without street lighting as they do in many rural areas.

As for crime, it doesn't seem to occur to people that criminals are not supernatural beasts, they are still human, they also need light to see what they're doing. At the moment street lights often give enough light that burglars can wander down a street and sus out which properties look vulnerable, and yet there's still shadows they can dodge into to hide in gardens etc. If there were no lights (except for nights when stars and moon give light) they'd need a torch to see where they were going which would surely draw attention to themselves. Its seems that it would also be much harder for groups of people to hang around on the street at night which often leads to anti-social behaviour. It would be easier for people to lie in wait to attack someone, there would be more places they could hide than with street lights. CCTV can work well with its own infra-red lighting, probably better than street light that creates contrasting light.

I think that reducing lighting can increase crime, but I'm doubtful if turning the lights off completely would increase crime. What are the thoughts of officers on this?

#2 SimonT

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:56 AM

I dont think it will make all that much difference.
We have plenty of burglary during the day let alone during the night.
Things that effect burglary is if we have managed to get the local prolific offender inside for a couple of years, how the economy is doing and if there is something more profitable to be stealing.

There are many many ways to reduce burglary and much other crime, but we wont take those actions so we have to put up with it




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