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A review of street lighting evaluations: crime reduction effects

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journal contribution
posted on 2006-02-27, 15:26 authored by Ken Pease
Consideration of the literature concerning street lighting effects on crime yields the following conclusions: (1) Precisely targeted increases in street lighting generally have crime reduction effects. (2)More general increases in street lighting seem to have crime prevention effects, but this outcome is not universal. Older and U.S. research yield fewer positive results than more recent U.K. research. (3) Even untargeted increases in crime prevention generally make residents less fearful of crime or more confident of their own safety at night. (4) In the most recent and sophisticated studies, street lighting improvements are associated with crime reductions in the daytime as well as during the hours of darkness. (5) The debate about lighting effects has served to preclude a more refined analysis of the means by and circumstances in which lighting might reduce crime. Our aim should now be to use context-appropriate lighting schemes as part of a full repertoire of crime reduction tactics. Recommendations based upon a strategic view of current crime reduction policy are made about how lighting effects could be darified and elaborated. The provisions of the British Crime and Disorder Act 1998 constitute a potential vehicle for lighting programmes operating within crime reduction schemes generally.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Research Unit

  • Midlands Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice


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PEASE, K., 1999. A review of street lighting evaluations: crime reduction effects. IN: Painter and Tilley (eds), Surveillance of Public Space: CCTV, Street Lighting and Crime Prevention, Crime Prevention Studies, 10, pp. 47-76.


© Criminal Justice Press

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This article has been published in the journal, Crime Prevention Studies [© Criminal Justice Press].


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