The more street lights a city has, the less crime that happens … right? After all, walking home alone in a well-lit area seems much more appealing than strolling down a dark street. However, the amount of lights a city has may not have any direct correlation with decreased crime rates.
In fact, according to researchers at the University of Southampton, there was no evidence to support the theory that the lighting of streets reduced crime rates. Some even say that these lights help the criminals more than they hurt them. With better lighting, the criminals don’t have to carry around flashlights and can easily see the contents of parked cars.
How city lighting affects crime may also depend on where you live. While some states weren’t impacted by the installation of more street lights, others were: Atlanta, Milwaukee, Kansas City and Fort Worth saw a decrease in crime with better lit streets at night.
There is one thing that increased lighting does have an impact on for sure, and that’s a sense of community. It gives people confidence to walk around their own neighborhoods at night, and helps everyone get to know one another. Lighting also provides a type of reassurance, and gives people the peace of mind that they can step out of their houses and apartments and feel safe.
What do you think, renters? Do street lights have an impact on crime rates?