Tuesday, September 23

Lighting and Crime: Summary: "Improving street lighting, when it reduces crime, tends to reduce daylight crime as well as crime during darkness. This certainly means that a simple view of lighting as having its effects through increasing surveillance is not tenable. It probably means that lighting improvements which are accompanied by other measures to consult and inform residents, and otherwise enhance social cohesion, will stimulate the mixture of ‘active ingredients’ underlying lighting effects. Such considerations should be incorporated in local crime reduction strategies under the 1998 Act.

· Crime and disorder is distributed very unequally. For example in 1991, some 60% of assaultive crime occurred in the 10% most crime prone areas. This means that crime prevention measures across wide areas with varying crime problems will generally not be regarded as the most cost-effective use of resources. In the CCTV challenge process, local bids had to justify locations for camera installation. In the Government’s current Crime Reduction Programme, the Local Initiatives element will unquestionably be subject to a similar process of assessment for funding. The criteria of such assessment will include originality and focussed effort. For this reason, schemes which involve lighting small areas or the innovative use of lighting will have an advantage over those which involve lighting of large areas and those in which the mechanism of operation is explored. It is acknowledged that street lighting has economies of scale, and that its installation is only incidentally crime preventive. Thus there will be a tension between the extent and nature of lighting desirable for other purposes and that for crime reduction. "


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