In most people’s minds, there is a simple and direct relationship between lighting and crime: better lighting will deter offenders who benefit from the cover of darkness. More 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.
However, things are rarely as simple as they first appear. Professor Ken Pease, a crime prevention expert, has explained how improved lighting can have a variety of different effects on crime. In particular, not only can it sometimes decrease crime, but it can also affect not just nighttime crime, but daylight crime as well. Improved lighting deters potential offenders by increasing the risk that they will be seen or recognized when committing crimes.
If improved lighting leads to the arrest and imprisonment of repeat offenders they can no longer commit crimes in the area.New lighting can encourage residents to spend more time on their stoops or in their front yards in the evenings and thus increase informal surveillance. Improved lighting can encourage more people to walk at night, which would also increase informal surveillance. If improved lighting leads to the arrest and imprisonment of repeat offenders they can no longer commit crimes in the area.