WE have received correspondence from our council concerning street lights, stating “better lighting safer places”.
Their main contractors have vans and road signs constantly and invariably repeating this slogan. It is a little disingenuous to say so; the research they refer to was commissioned by the Home Office from the University of Southampton, and it concludes ‘better’ street lighting has had little or no effect on crime.
In their words, “the dominant overall conclusion … was of no significant change.”
I do not dispute that some people may like additional lighting, but although it may be reassuring, in terms of crime prevention it is technically as useful as a night-light in a child’s bedroom.
Studies have concluded that street lighting may have a beneficial effect of transport accident reduction. If so, payment for such facilities should come directly from those who create the ‘need’ for it, drivers who drive too fast and/or dangerously for prevailing conditions.
Safe drivers and non drivers should not have the burden placed upon them for the dangerous activities of others.
Our public servants and contractors should not use the bogeyman to scare us into believing we really need lighting in all urban environments in all hours of darkness. We do not.
Go to www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/prgpdfs/fcpu28.pdf to see the research paper.