Less Street Lighting Has No Impact On Crime Or Collisions
The study, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in partnership with University College London and published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, looked at councils which had implemented a range of lighting reductions or changes such as replacing Sodium with white light.
To assess crime, they looked at data from 2010 to 2013 to analyse how many crimes took place in different areas and the types of street lighting used there. They focused on offences more likely to occur at night, including burglary, theft of or from a vehicle, robbery, violence and sexual assault.
Overall, there was no evidence of an association between lighting being switched off and increased crime. There was very weak evidence for a reduction in the aggregate count of crime and dimming or changing to white light.
They also looked at all roads in participating authorities, examining what type of street lighting was used and the number of traffic collisions that happened at night relative to the day during 2000 to 2013.
They found no evidence of a link between reduced street lighting and night-time collisions.
Lighting can be reduced
Lead investigator Dr Phil Edwards said: “An estimated £300m is spent every year on street lights in the UK.
“At a time when local authorities need to make spending cuts, our findings show that by carefully assessing risks, street lighting can be reduced without an increase in car crashes and crime.”
Co-author Prof Shane Johnson said while the findings were “very encouraging”, any changes to lighting “should be managed carefully”.