Tuesday, 9 September 2014
SOCIALLY ‘ENLIGHTENED’ STREETS
We left late from work on one Friday last week. The feeling of a win was brewing in the car. An important assignment got completed; we were applauded for our work, and the weekend was waiting for us. As the car turned into a quite lane before my building, we saw the streetlights were off. The upset tumble evolved from how bad the infrastructure is to the social benefits of street lighting.
As we all agree, street lighting creates navigable & safe. In most people's minds, offenders or potential victims, there is a simple and direct relationship between lighting and crime. The better the lighting, the lower the possibility of crime. Offenders benefit from the cover of darkness and good street lighting exposes them. Improved lighting means that offenders are more likely to be seen by someone who might intervene, call the police, or recognize the offender. Even if this does not happen, some offenders who fear that it might would be deterred from crime.
Improved lighting deters potential offenders by increasing the risk that they will be seen or recognized when committing crimes, which eventually leads them to back off from the area of crime. Police & potential saviours become more visible, thus leading to a decision to desist from crime. If improved lighting leads to the arrest and imprisonment of offenders they can no longer commit crimes in the area and also deters others from committing the crime due to the fear of being punished. New lighting can encourage residents to spend more time on the roads or yards in the evenings and thus increase informal surveillance.
As we reached the safety of our houses, the discussion moved to how something as simple as street lights are a part of a safe social society. While, we got the topic for our next blog, it also got us thinking on how to egg the local authorities to make it mandate to have good street lighting to effectively make our streets safer.