diumenge 31 de juliol de 2005.
El equipo de la Universidad de Southampton que realizó este estudio sobre 100.000 crímenes concluye que el alumbrado público tiene poco o nulo efecto sobre la reduccion de la criminalidad, pero da cierta confianza a las personas que temen ser agredidas. Parece pues que hay un efecto psicologico pero no real.
The team from the University of Southampton who carried out this research concluded that, as deployed on a broad scale, better street lighting has had little or no effect on crime. In their words, “the dominant overall conclusion was of no significant change” On the other hand, they did find that the improved street lighting was warmly welcomed by the public, and that it provided a measure of reassurance to some people – particularly women who were fearful in their use of public space.
THE INFLUENCE OF STREET LIGHTING ON CRIME AND FEAR OF CRIME
Stephen Atkins, Sohail Husain and Angele Storey
This report, on street lighting, crime and fear, breaks fresh ground. Earlier work has been limited to short-term investigations of small areas, or even individual blackspots. The research presented here, which was carried out in the London Borough of Wandsworth, deals with the criminological impact of some 3,500 brighter street lights. The timeframe for before and after comparison was a full twelve months in each case, while the total database comprised over 100,000 crimes reported to the police.
The team from the University of Southampton who carried out this research concluded that, as deployed on a broad scale, better street lighting has had little or no effect on crime. In their words, “the dominant overall conclusion was of no significant change”. On the other hand, they did find that the improved street lighting was warmly welcomed by the public, and that it provided a measure of reassurance to some people – particularly women who were fearful in their use of public space.
This report is perhaps slightly more technical than is usual in this series of Crime Prevention Unit Papers. To complement it, a readily accessible overview both of this and other relevant work has been prepared. That assessment, The Effect of Better Street Lighting on Crime and Fear: a Review, is being published at the same time as this report, as Crime Prevention Unit Paper 29.
I M BURNS
Deputy Under Secretary of State Home Office, Police Department August 1991
The main aim of this study was to test whether the area-wide improvement of streetlighting reduces reported crimes after dark. The very wide extent of the study, covering some 3500 new street lights introduced over a period of nearly three years, was unprecedented in the UK. The change in street lighting standard was considerable; typically a four-fold increase in the intensity of lighting was achieved, with more lighting columns and white light sources being introduced throughout.
The main database for the study consisted of over 100,000 reported crimes, although analysis was principally focused on some 9500 allegations in the most relevant locations and time periods. The area studied, an inner London Borough, has a highcrime rate in a national context and thus represented a fair test for environmental crime prevention measures. In short, if street lighting does affect crime, this study should have detected it. The principal conclusion is that no evidence could be found to support the hypothesis that improved street lighting reduces reported crime. Although some areas and some crime types did show reductions in night-time crime relative to the day-light control, the dominant overall pattern, from which this study draws its authority, was of no significant change. Some further work, investigating possible contemporary influences of policing initiatives and neighbourhood watch schemes together with street lighting, provided no additional explanation of the crime pattern.
The secondary aim of the study was to assess the response to improved street lightingin terms of the attitudes, opinions and behaviour of residents in a re-lit area. Here there was clear evidence that perceived safety of women when walking alone after dark had been improved in the treated area. Perceptions of safety in the home, or in the street during daylight hours, were not affected. There were no strong influences either on worry about certain types of crime or their perceived likelihood.
There was no evidence to suggest any significant changes in un-reported crime; in travel, particularly trips out after dark; on harassments or incivilities, when comparing the treated area with an adjacent control area. However, the reaction of residents to the re-lighting scheme was overwhelmingly favourable; it is without doubt a popular measure.
As stated in the introduction, the results of any research on this subject must be assessed within the context of the methodology used. The main finding on reported crime does not contradict other research which has sometimes found that street lighting has, in the short run and in small areas, apparently reduced crimes and incivilities. It does, however, suggest very firmly that as an area-wide long-term treatment, street lighting is unlikely to reduce crime to any great extent. The findings on fear of crime are generally supportive of existing knowledge. It is clear that a very much larger social survey would be necessary to trace with any statistical confidence more subtle changes in social and attitudinal effects arising from re-lighting.
THE EFFECT OF BETTER STREET LIGHTING ON CRIME AND FEAR: A REVIEW
Malcolm Ramsay with the assistance of Rosemary Newton
CRIME PREVENTION UNIT PAPER NO. 29 LONDON: HOME OFFICE Editor: Gloria Laycock Home Office Crime Prevention Unit
This review examines the impact of improvements to street lighting on both crime and the public’s sense of fear. It draws on the latest research findings, including those from a substantial study carried out by a team from the University of Southampton, who monitored the effect of large-scale lighting improvements in Wandsworth. Their work is being published at the same time as this, as Crime Prevention Unit Paper 28.
This report suggests, on the basis of the available research evidence, that lightingimprovements are in general more likely to have a positive impact on the public¹sfear of crime than on the incidence of crime itself. Exceptionally, in localised blackspots, where lighting is particularly inadequate crime and incivility may be reduced in addition to pedestrians’ sense of security being improved.
The report also documents the Home Office¹s expenditure on lighting improvements – geared primarily to reducing people’s fear of crime in crucialsettings – through the Safer Cities programme. In total, over the two financial years ending March 1991, some £818,500 was spent, spread across 15 urban areas, and representing 12 per cent by value of all schemes approved.
I M BURNS Deputy Under Secretary of State Home Office, Police Department August 1991
7: Summary and conclusion
Good street lighting contributes to the quality of urban life. That is not in doubt. What this review concludes is that improvements to street lighting can help to reduce the public¹s fear of crime, but that they make less of a difference to the prevailing level of crime than many people would expect. The main points are listed below:
The public has considerable – but not boundless faith in street lighting as a means of crime prevention.
Offenders are not necessarily much influenced by lighting conditions. When deciding whether to commit a crime they are likely to take into account a variety of considerations, rather than any single factor, such as lighting.
Better lighting by itself has very little effect on crime. There are some limited local blackspots where improved lighting may have a modest impact on crimeand perhaps a slightly larger one on incivilities. Also, in conjunction with other measures, better lighting may help to improve an area. Indirectly, this may conceivably assist in reducing crime – although such an outcome is not guaranteed. There is no scope for reducing crime on any broad basis simply by investing in better street lighting. The sophisticated evaluation of the major re-lighting scheme in the London Borough of Wandsworth confirms that particular point (Atkins, Husain and Storey, 1991). Even where localised lighting improvements have been followed by a reduction in crime, any such effect may taper off after the first few months, as appears to have happened in Hastings (see Appendix D).
Better street lighting helps to reduce the public¹s fear of crime. The extent to which this is likely to happen remains uncertain. Measuring fear is not straightforward. Different methods result in different answers. It seems easier to notch up attitudinal changes than to enable significantly more people toŒreclaim the night¹ in terms of their behaviour. However, an increase in pedestrian traffic after dark has sometimes been demonstrated, at least on a localised basis. The Hammersmith and Fulham walkway project is an obvious example (Painter, 1989b). There are also indications, for instance in Cleveland, that, following re-lighting, women¹s attitudes are more likely to change – in a positive direction- than those of men, who are comparatively less prone to feelings of insecurity in the first place, or at least are less likely to admit them to an interviewer (Vamplew, 1990).
The Home Office itself channels considerable amounts of public money into lighting, under the Safer Cities programme. Some £818,500 has been spent on lighting schemes, in 15 locations, in just two years. This represents approximately 12 per cent of all expenditure under the Safer Cities programme, through to March 1991. For the most part, fear reduction has been the mainaim, as opposed to the prevention of crime. Given the findings presented here, this would seem a justifiable emphasis. Fear reduction is a vital issue that needs to be targeted as a distinct objective, alongside crime prevention: as is indeedspecified in the objectives of the Safer Cities programme. Lastly, given the programmers commitment to economic enterprise and community life, there is little doubt that better lighting can sometimes play a worthwhile role in pursuit of these broader aims.
The conclusions in their wider context
The conclusions reached in this review would not come as much of a surprise to anyone familiar with the relevant research in the United States. An authoritative overview has been carried out for the US Department of Justice by James Tien and others (1979). It was based on analysis of over 100 projects. Special attention was paid to 15 evaluations of a relatively thorough nature. In terms of the impact on crime of those 15 projects, Tien and his colleagues noted that, for Part 1 offences (principally robbery, assault, burglary, auto theft and larceny), more projects report increases, or no change, than decreases in crime. Tien and his co-authors were critical of the lack of methodological rigour of the studies which they assessed. In particular, they called for additional research to be based on ratios. That is precisely the approach used by the University of Southampton team in their Wandsworth study, which draws on comparisons between the proportion of daytime and night-time crime, before and after re-lighting, in each of 39 separate small areas (Atkins, Husain and Storey, 1991). Tien and his colleagues also argued that there was a need for fresh thought to be given to the measurement of fear. They observed that the terms fear brings out different feelings in different persons. Arguably the need both for further basic and evaluative research, as is asserted in the report of the independent working group set up by the Home Office and chaired by Michael Grade (Home Office, 1989), still holds true.
Towards the end of their report to the Department of Justice, Tien and his co-authors posed and answered – the ultimate question about street lighting and public policy on crime. It is worth quoting them in full.
A final question is: for the purpose of guiding immediate policy decisions, what can be assumed about street lighting and crime? The answer is that, although it does not seem to impact the level of crime and may in fact displace crime, street lighting can be assumed to affect the fear of crime. Similar assessments have also been made more recently by other American researchers (for instance, Lurigio and Rosenbaum, 1986). Here too, in another country, those conclusions still remain valid.
Efe | Madrid – Actualizado martes 24/05/2011 19:18 horas
La tasa de criminalidad en la Comunidad ha descendido 14 puntos con respecto a 2003, lo que sitúa a la región, en materia de seguridad, por encima de la media europea, sobre todo por el aumento de las plantilla de la Guardia Civil y la Policía Municipal -un 51% en los últimos 7 años- y por una mayor coordinación.
El vicepresidente primero del Gobierno y ministro del Interior, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, ha ofrecido hoy en el pleno del Senado estos datos en respuesta a una pregunta de la socialista Ruth Porta, quien efectuaba su última asistencia al pleno, ya que tras las elecciones regionales deja de ser senadora por designación autonómica y ahora pasará a la política municipal de la capital como ‘número 2’ del Grupo Municipal Socialista que lidera Jaime Lissavetzky.
“Ha sido un objetivo prioritario del Gobierno el mejorar la seguridad en el conjunto de España y eso, naturalmente, implica que también lo hemos hecho en la Comunidad de Madrid”, ha recalcado Rubalcaba.
El ministro ha explicado que la mejora se ha conseguido, esencialmente, a través de dos políticas: Primero mejorar los recursos materiales y humanos de los que dispone tanto la policía como la guardia civil; y segundo, mejorar la coordinación, tanto en lo que se refiere a los dos cuerpos estatales como a su relación con las distintas policías locales.
Ha destacado que desde 2003, el último año de los Gobiernos de Aznar, ha aumentando la plantilla de la Guardia Civil y de la Policía Nacional “en un 51 por ciento, al pasar de los 13.406 policías y guardias civiles que había en 2003 a los 20.185 que hay ahora“.
Así mismo, ha señalado que con los Gobiernos de José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero se ha llevado a cabo “una tarea de coordinación con las policías locales”.
Con varias de ellas se han firmado convenios “muy importantes”, según Rubalcaba, entre ellas con la Policía Municipal de Madrid y con la propia Comunidad de Madrid, “con la que tenemos un acuerdo en materia de seguridad“, ha subrayado.
Y ha añadido: “Ambas administraciones, junto con las locales correspondientes, hemos entendido que la seguridad, más allá de las competencias constitucionales, constituyen por su importancia para la vida y la libertad de los ciudadanos una tarea compartida”.
El resultado, ha indicado el ministro del Interior, es que se ha mejorado “sustancialmente” la tasa de criminalidad, que “en este momento es 14 puntos más baja que la que había en 2003, que fue el año en el que hubo una tasa más alta”, lo que sitúa a Madrid “por debajo de la media europea, como señaló muy bien el alcalde de Madrid, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón”.
En esta línea, ha valorado la “mayor eficacia” policial y el incremento de la seguridad ciudadana. “Hemos duplicado el número de delitos esclarecidos y el número de detenciones ligadas a esos delitos”, ha asegurado.
Para seguir esta línea, Rubalcaba ha señalado, no obstante, que “hay que seguir mejorando la coordinación” de los Cuerpos y Fuerzas de Seguridad del Estado y de estos con las policías locales.
“Hay muchos convenios por firmar, incorporar a muchas policías locales a este trabajo colectivo que es la seguridad”, ha agregado.
Tras manifestar la “satisfacción” del Gobierno de la nación por estos resultados, ha dicho: “Es una satisfacción que legítimamente podemos compartir con el resto de las administraciones autonómicas y locales con las que hemos venido trabajando en estos años”.
Por último, Rubalcaba ha agradecido a Porta que haya tenido la “delicadeza” de hacer su última intervención dirigiéndole una pregunta y le ha deseado “lo mejor en su vida municipal”, al igual que ha hecho el presidente del Senado, Javier Rojo.