Street Lighting

The Research Group were asked to briefly review the evidence in relation to street lighting and crime in the context of a proposed part-night lighting (PNL) scheme being introduced to Cambridgeshire.  Having reviewed the research evidence about the use of streetlights and community safety the following conclusions were drawn:

  • There is a strong association in minds of the public between the presence of lighting and a feeling of safety. 
  • Recently published research by LSTM has found no evidence of a relationship between the count of crime and streetlight switch off or part-night lighting. 
  • That the evidence pointing towards the limited benefit of streetlights in reducing crime cannot be reversed and used to argue that withdrawing lighting will result in an increase. 
  • The main academic evidence for the benefits of street lights such as that relied upon by the College of Policing relates to the mid-1990s at the latest, but also back to the 1970s.  A time when crime was much higher than it is today making direct comparison to the current situation problematic. 

More detail can be found within the study below.  The Research Group will continue to monitor the impact of any Part-Night Lighting (PNL) introduced in the County and the results of this monitoring will appear here in due course.