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Can Lighting Reduce Crime? News You Will Not Like

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#51 Delta608

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 05:20 PM

Mr. Rhetfield, how many shooting occur in Chicago at night vs daylight...?  Yes, daytime residential buglaries are high because as you well know know one at home...Sorta like:

 

"Sutton's law"
A famous apocryphal story is that Sutton was asked by reporter Mitch Ohnstad why he robbed banks. According to Ohnstad, he replied, "Because that's where the money is".

 

 

.Business burglaries, storage facility burglaries and vehicle burglaries all occur at night, when the business's are closed...  You know it, I know it , all knows it...Light is a deterrent albeit, not to our liking, but its true...

 

This is what I found..

 

 

When shootings occur

For the previous 365 days

Homicides tend to peak in the summer months, on the weekend and during the evening and night.

 

Interesting study.....https://www.chicagot...-htmlstory.html


Edited by Delta608, 12 March 2020 - 05:30 PM.


#52 ftur62

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 10:12 PM

Can lighting help to reduce crime in some areas?  Absolutely.  As I and others have pointed out earlier in this thread, the question isn't lighting vs darkness.  The question has more to do with good lighting vs bad lighting. Good (effective) lighting is at a minimal level, uniform (minimal shadows), shielded, and directed where it is needed.  Ineffective lighting creates glare, deep shadows, and shines where it is not needed. Research suggests (see previous posts) that you don't need to light an area like a prison yard to reduce crime.  In fact, in some cases bad lighting can contribute to increases in some types of crime.  Effective lighting (low levels, warmer colors, controls, shielded/directed fixtures) can help reduce crime while minimizing the adverse effects on human health, night skies, and the environment.


Edited by ftur62, 13 March 2020 - 08:04 PM.

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#53 rbtparrish55

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Posted 17 March 2020 - 02:08 PM

    Are you suggesting there are no night time burglaries, or not as likely to have a night time burglary..?  Small comfort to those who has  had them...A night time burglary to a closed business IS the burglars daytime....It is absurd to think lights do not deter crime...These tactics to keep the skies dark will not never work..Intelligent night lighting is the way to go...Builders of modern homes and neighborhoods are the key, and others will follow suit.

I agree that the adjective "intelligent" is key. As an advocate to the IDA, when I present to those wanting to learn more about light pollution, I experience the most push back when I state the more lighting does not equal less crime. I've learned to temper my statement by clarifying that I don't condom the complete removal of night time outdoor lighting, but rather only to use what is absolutely necessary. Also, consider properly installed motion detectors and/or timers.

 

When researching the topic, you find a wide spectrum of opinions. I would have to say that the majority of studies that support additional outdoor lighting to deter crime are sponsored by those selling lighting fixtures or electrical utilities. Fear is a proven sales motivator. And, to paraphrase an old axiom, there are lies, **** lies and then there are statistics. No matter you opinion of a wide variety of topics, there exists data to underscore your opinion.

 

LED lighting technology has greatly improved. Seeking expert advice to strike a balance between protecting you safety and the night sky takes research dillagence. 


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#54 Darkskyaz

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 10:55 PM

In my suburban california town, I use the ring app which lets neighbors post their videos of criminal/suspicious activity. Often there are videos of people getting turned away by flood lights. I know this is anecdotal, but I would be very surprised if a study found that flood lights don't work.

 

This is not to say that I am advocating for more flood lights or any lighting, I appreciate a dark sky as much as the next guy, and there may be better ways to prevent someone from entering onto your property than massive bright lights. 

So it sounds like you are saying that people are turned away when the flood lights come on. There is a big difference between lights that are on all the time, and lights that are motion controlled. Motion controlled lighting is a deterrent because they startle a would be intruder. The intruder must guess whether or not someone is actually at home, or if he has drawn attention to himself because the lights have come on. Lights that are on all the time don't have have the startle effect, and in fact draw attention to one's house, and allow a potential intruder to case the house. They make a criminal's job easier, not harder. Like everyone else, criminals need light to do their work, which is one reason why most crimes take place in the daytime, and why before lighting was invented, night time crimes usually happened when the Moon was full. 


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#55 Delta608

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 05:44 AM

So it sounds like you are saying that people are turned away when the flood lights come on. There is a big difference between lights that are on all the time, and lights that are motion controlled. Motion controlled lighting is a deterrent because they startle a would be intruder. The intruder must guess whether or not someone is actually at home, or if he has drawn attention to himself because the lights have come on. Lights that are on all the time don't have have the startle effect, and in fact draw attention to one's house, and allow a potential intruder to case the house. They make a criminal's job easier, not harder. Like everyone else, criminals need light to do their work, which is one reason why most crimes take place in the daytime, and why before lighting was invented, night time crimes usually happened when the Moon was full. 

  You have no idea what you are talking about...There are more daytime burglaries, not because of natural light but because most households are working...Most business burglaries are night time as no one is there...and thieves bring their own light...Light is a deterrent and we all know it, even if we don't like it...



#56 Darkskyaz

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 02:50 PM

  You have no idea what you are talking about...There are more daytime burglaries, not because of natural light but because most households are working...Most business burglaries are night time as no one is there...and thieves bring their own light...Light is a deterrent and we all know it, even if we don't like it...

If thieves have to bring their own light, they stand out more, and look more suspicious. Providing copious amounts of light just makes it easier for the intruder. Now if the light is connected to a motion detector, that is a different matter. And it need not be a flood light. Lights with motion sensors are very effective because it not only startles the intruder, it also draws the attention of anyone passing by (police for example) because there has been a change. 


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#57 barbarosa

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 01:53 AM

 Crime and lights vs no lights or good lights vs bad lights. 

 

A classic oversimplification and a false dichotomy. We begin to argue the question as if there were only two choices, and then we argue about whether these choices will or will not be effective in preventing crime. We have some good science on lighting, on light levels, on glare, on the effects of color temperature and lately the effects on living things. 

 

Let's accept that some contemplated crime may be prevented by lighting or shifted in time or location. We do not have good data. We do not have rigorous studies. PG&E the largest utility in California tried and failed to find such a link.

 

We can look at the crime stats for our own localities. Crime statistics are very often problematic because they are recorded, compiled and presented in ways that are often incomplete, or arrayed to make a particular point or to obfuscate critical data. But if we look at data in a familiar context, our towns and not some demographically different place, we might draw some locally useful conclusion.

 

This site for example gives you some data on crime by day of week and time of day. Take a high crime city like Oakland California. It no longer is called the state murder capital but the crime rate is high. The rate in an adjacent city, Emeryville, small, formerly industrial and now residential and retail is even higher. Compare these with a smaller suburban town or with your town.

 

If I were a paid consultant I could take that data and make the case that daylight appears to cause crime. 

 

One of my distant neighbors recently installed some very strong LED lights and keeps them on all night. There is a greater chance that they will live to 101 than of a burglary on their street. But it would be pointless to try and persuade them to turnout the lights.

 

We need a better focused discussion if we are to get action on the very important problem of human activity altering the natural world in avoidable ways.


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#58 mikeDnight

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 01:15 PM

Lighting up the night is a crime, and yes, it does invite intruders. Lighting up your property for all to see is asking for trouble, and no one looks twice at someone walking around someone's house when its well lit. Crime levels drop when the lights go out!



#59 JuergenB

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 01:32 PM

I think it's true, Mike. I cannot tell how happy I am where we stay. It is a street with 11 houses. We have no street lighting and none of our neighbors has permanent illumination of their houses or property. Sky quality is only Bortle 4-5, but the lack of nearby illumination makes up for it. No crimes as long as we are living here, knock on wood (20 years).

 

Juergen



#60 rhetfield

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 07:49 AM

Mr. Rhetfield, how many shooting occur in Chicago at night vs daylight...?  Yes, daytime residential buglaries are high because as you well know know one at home...Sorta like:

 

"Sutton's law"
A famous apocryphal story is that Sutton was asked by reporter Mitch Ohnstad why he robbed banks. According to Ohnstad, he replied, "Because that's where the money is".

 

 

.Business burglaries, storage facility burglaries and vehicle burglaries all occur at night, when the business's are closed...  You know it, I know it , all knows it...Light is a deterrent albeit, not to our liking, but its true...

 

This is what I found..

 

 

When shootings occur

For the previous 365 days

Homicides tend to peak in the summer months, on the weekend and during the evening and night.

 

Interesting study.....https://www.chicagot...-htmlstory.html

Note that most shootings in Chicago are gang related.  They happen most when gang members are not in school or work (many do go to school/work - living double lives).  The gangs are more like some sort of quasi cult family thing than an economic entity.  Membership is mandatory in some neighborhoods.  Much like the mafia or the marines, they become your "1st family".  Many of the killings involve shooting people because they are not members of the gang (not necessarily members of another gang) or "honor" killings because of something somebody said or did (or didn't say/do).  It is once again time for the spring surge.  When the weather warms up people go outside and interact.  When it gets hot and uncomfortable, people get irritable and look for reasons be offended.

 

The picture below shows a cloudy night at my current place at 11pm.  Light level in picture are a good representation of visual conditions.  The house in the city was much, much brighter due to the alley lights.  I do not have a picture of that - and if I did, you would think it was taken in daylight anyway.  There is no "dark".  Just light.  As your article shows - murders are up this year - in spite of the corona ban on "outside".  Light does not deter it.  Most of it happens where there is light that allows targets to be seen.

 

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#61 Grimstod

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 09:34 AM

Ok this study is completely flawed. The population comparison is not the same and thus has bias. Temporary lights are not the same as permanent lighting and it affect human behavior very differently.

 

Crime in the cities is alway greater than it is in the country. Why? Because in the city there is provided light. While in the country one must bring their own flashlight. That draws an huge amount of attention to ones self. Something no criminal wants. 

The study needs to compare two identical populations. Simply turning the lights on for a period of time then turning them off for the same period of time to see what happens. 



#62 Darkskyaz

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 10:30 PM

Note that most shootings in Chicago are gang related.  

 

It's also worth noting that Chicago is one of the most over-lit cities on Earth, with lots of bright, misdirected, poorly designed lighting. How is that working out for them in terms of reducing their crime rate? 

 

I grew up in a suburb where we didn't have any street lights, at least not in areas where people were sleeping. At that time, lots of people were leaving the over-lit cites to escape to the lesser lit suburbs to get away from the crime. I think over-lighting does more than provide opportunity for criminals. I think it increases criminal behavior by interrupting sleep cycles and making everyone more edgy. This is especially true of the bluer LED lights. 


Edited by Darkskyaz, 28 March 2020 - 09:02 PM.


#63 barbarosa

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 04:33 PM

In a way this entire discussion goes back to 100 AD give or take 200 years or so. The old Romans wrote about about lighting and crime. They incorporated anti crime elements in building design. The Romans more or less invented concrete, welfare, multi-story and multi-story apartment houses. They did not invent street lights.

 

A night time walk back from the wine shop or from dinner with Flavius Grusomnus could be a dangerous walk.  No police, no lights, juvenile gangs, political gangs, MS XIII, upper class swells out for some fun, cut purses, foot pads and thugs, degenerates, poor people, illegals (yes they had them too) all in all very much like NY or Chicago or London or...  

 

To make it worse the streets were often narrow, running between blank walls or ground floor business stalls that were literally empty at night, and in those streets there was offal stuff and more falling like the rain. No plumbing in those 4 story tenements so what came in through the door was going to transform and fall from above.

 

We all know that the Roman who could afford it traveled with light bearers and guards, others traveled in groups with lights, and in the better neighborhoods a man might walk with just a candle.

 

The primary purpose of the light was to avoid stepping in filth. The secondary purpose was to signal to any lurking bad actors the size and defensive state of the walkers. Thus allowing the bad guys to make an informed decision. So in that sense light deterred some crime.  But you could just as well say that guards and weapons were the deterrent, an idea adopted by many.

 

The historical sources are anecdotes and biased because the writers were not poor or tenement dwellers. A 2000 year old problem and we still lack good data.

 

Then or now if lights deter crime what did the deterred criminal do? Did he or she simply select another target or seeing the light did the criminal repent and take up honest work?


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#64 Grimstod

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 06:01 AM

 

 

We all know that the Roman who could afford it traveled with light bearers and guards, others traveled in groups with lights, and in the better neighborhoods a man might walk with just a candle.

es are anecdotes and biased because the writers were not poor or tenement dwellers. A 2000 year old problem and we still lack good data.

 

Then or now if lights deter crime what did the deterred criminal do? Did he or she simply select another target or seeing the light did the criminal repent and take up honest work?

 

Note though that these lights were not static constant lights. They were moving lights. Moving and changing lights deter crime. Static constantly on lighting does not. It may at first but its like anything. The criminals get used to the light then they actually use the light to their advantage. 


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#65 csa/montana

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 10:19 AM

Folks, let's please stay away from discussing shootings on this forum!  



#66 csa/montana

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 10:21 AM

 

 
Crime in the cities is alway greater than it is in the country. Why?

Perhaps because of less population in the country, and wider areas to have to travel in the country.



#67 SonnyE

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 08:51 PM

My use of my Badder Moon and Sky Glow filter takes care of my paranoid neighbors outside lighting.

So I control at my end, and they pay outrageously to the power companies.

When the Moon is bugging me, I can crank over my Ha7nm filter.

 

The changed all the streetlights here to LED that are aimed only at the streets, so much less High Pressure Sodium glow. And much less light being wasted.

 

And I always maintain that I can move.




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