Security Lights: Bright Solutions For Safer Public Spaces
As the sun begins to set, nocturnal life begins to flourish. Humans of the night come out on the streets, some go to work, others head out to party away the day-time problems. If it were not for the street lights, a chaos that can disrupt the societal harmony would erupt on the streets. Without security lights, the world we live in will share an uncanny resemblance with the far (and stark) north that exists ‘beyond the wall’!
The evolution of human beings explains that we have never been comfortable in confined and/or dark spaces. Learning the art of fire-building was a blessing to humankind. It helped our ancestors ward away the predators lurking in the dark, waiting to rip their flesh and bones apart.
The Story of Olivia
It was a cold January night when 19-year-old Olivia was heading home after her daily music lessons. Knowing that her home was a couple of blocks away, she decides to walk. Not knowing what the night had in store, she was walking at a steady pace. After a few minutes of walking two men emerge out of the dark, one of them grabs Olivia as the other blocks her way forward. As her senses begin to fathom what has been going on, she pushes the man blocking her way, bites off the other’ s hand and runs for her life. It was dark. She could not see anything. The only noises she could hear were her that of her rapid footsteps and her exhausting heart.
For once Olivia stops to pull out her phone and calls for help. She calls her Dad in panic and then quickly hides in the compound of a building that was well-lit with security lights. 14 minutes later (which seemed like an eternity) her Dad comes for rescue. Baffled at the thought of what could have happened, Olivia breaks down as she grabs her father.
Eons have passed since then. Olivia is now an independent musician, who now prefers not to take the roads devoid of security lights.
Changing times demand for changes
The present-day woman is independent, however, her independence comes with a price. (sometimes!) To prosper in a world of equal rights for all human beings, she will have to walk along the night street, like everybody else. (whether the streets are well-it or not!) While most of the public spaces today are well-lit, there still remain cornered spaces with dim to no lighting. Such places are perfect spots where crime breeds.
A study conducted by crime lab states that exposing public places like streets, parks, parking lots, and yards to amounts of light makes the physical environment less conducive to criminal activity.
The study involving 40 housing developments; all with elevated levels of crime, half had new security lights and half did not prooves that:
The developments that received new lights experienced crime rates that were significantly lower than would have been the case without the new lights. Among other findings, the study concluded that increased levels of lighting led to a 36% reduction in "index crimes" — a subset of serious felony crimes that includes murder, robbery and aggravated assault, as well as certain property crimes — that took place outdoors at night in developments that received new lighting, with an overall 4% percent reduction in index crimes.
In the light of the facts
The presence of street lights helps improve the surveillance
Installing security lights at public spaces like streets and parking lots encourages more people to use the space in the dark. An increase in the number of people in a public space increases the risk of identification of an offender. Since the offender can not escape a busy space without leaving behind potential witnesses, the chances of crimes against women narrow down.
Good lighting systems are investments to the community
According to the ‘broken window hypothesis’, visible signs of crime (like broken windows or damaged public property) renders an urban environment that supports further crime. Fixing a good number of security lights helps reverse the hypothesis. Fitting public places with good streetlights is an investment for the community that has multi-facet benefits.
The safer world
The need for a safer world for women makes the use of efficient street lighting systems a must. With the use of cost-effective lighting systems like solar-powered LED street lights, authorities can ensure safer public environments without draining the funds. Using LED street lights, to secure the public spaces at night will ensure a safer world women. In the words of James Brown:
“This is a man's world, this is a man's world
But it wouldn't be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl...”