Light and crime
- Topic Author
- Proto Star
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Much so-called security lighting is designed with little thought for how eyes -- or criminals -- operate. Marcus Felson, a professor at the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, has concluded that lighting is effective in preventing crime mainly if it enables people to notice criminal activity as it's taking place, and if it doesn't help criminals to see what they're doing. Bright, unshielded floodlights -- one of the most common types of outdoor security lighting in the country -- often fail on both counts, as do all-night lights installed on isolated structures or on parts of buildings that can't be observed by passersby (such as back doors). A burglar who is forced to use a flashlight, or whose movement triggers a security light controlled by an infrared motion sensor, is much more likely to be spotted than one whose presence is masked by the blinding glare of a poorly placed metal halide "wall pack." In the early seventies, the public-school system in San Antonio, Texas, began leaving many of its school buildings, parking lots, and other property dark at night and found that the no-lights policy not only reduced energy costs but also dramatically cut vandalism.
Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist - Kenneth Boulding (Economist)
- Super Giant
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The problem is with people's perceptions, they equate lots of light with lots of security.
What it says about a burglar requiring a flashlight is obvious, the rapid movements of a torch beam is sure to attract attention.
It's a long fight and one that has to be fought.
This article should be sent to our green environment minister as it might give him food for thought.
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.