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Darkness reduces crime?

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Darkness reduces crime? was created by amckinstry

Thanks to Apparent Brightness for this snippet:

In the northern Swedish town of Övertorneå, a dispute between the local council and its electricity distributor has meant that the town has had no streetlighting for many months now (TV programme in Swedish about the controversy here). Today Swedish television and other media report that since the streetlights were switched off, thefts and burglaries have halved. ‘Maybe the thieves are afraid of the dark’, says council boss Arne Honkamaa. On the other hand, maybe it’s being able to see the night sky that’s reducing crime.

Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist - Kenneth Boulding (Economist)
15 years 6 months ago #46389

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Replied by philiplardner on topic Re: Darkness reduces crime?

That's a useful snippet for Al to add to the ILPAC ist of arguments for cutting out unnecessary lighting!

Phil.
15 years 6 months ago #46392

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Darkness reduces crime?

It is an example that has cropped up before in other parts of the world (can't be arsed fishing for them right now!). Not only are there the scenic (light pollution), energy (less waste), and hobby (astronomy) benefits obvious, but now it does show that in dark areas, night time burglaries ARE less likely.

Seanie.
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
15 years 6 months ago #46394

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Replied by amckinstry on topic Re: Darkness reduces crime?

Interesting to see the change in crime behaviour wrt. night, lights and alarms, etc.

A current set of radio ads for Eircom phonewatch point out how many burglaries
now happen when people are at home. They fail to mention this is because people
are unlikely to have an alarm on when they're at home, so making it more likely that
the burglar will try an opportunistic grab while the owners watching telly, rather than
break in at 3pm when they're at work and the alarm is on ...

Having insecurity lights are probably fairly pointless compared to having alarms
in terms of crime, especially ones that are on all the time.

Note that the story is now a few months old, but worth keeping as a data point.
I don't know what the current status is, not having Swedish to read the newspapers.


- Alastair
Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist - Kenneth Boulding (Economist)
15 years 6 months ago #46395

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Darkness reduces crime?

They can't take what they cant see !!!
"Security" lighting only does the opposite of what it's meant to do.
Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
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Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
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15 years 6 months ago #46399

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Replied by cobyrne on topic Re: Darkness reduces crime?

Swedish television and other media report that since the streetlights were switched off, thefts and burglaries have halved.

Pretty obvious when you think about it - the thief would have to carry a flashlight, making their presence obvious. Streetlights mean that not only do they not have to carry any lighting that would draw attention to themselves, it also means that there are impenetrable dark areas in the shadows created by the streetlights for them to hide.
15 years 6 months ago #46413

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