Improving Street Lighting to Reduce Crime in Residential Areas

Improving Street Lighting to Reduce Crime in Residential Areas


U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Center for Problem-Oriented Policing


Ronald V. Clarke

This guide is written to help community policing officers decide whether improved lighting is an appropriate response to a crime or disorder problem that might be confronting a particular neighborhood or community. It assumes that a detailed problem analysis has been conducted and that police, community and business leaders, and other stakeholders are exploring ameliorative responses, particularly improved street lighting. It explains why better street lighting can help reduce fear, crime, and disorder, and summarizes the literature on the effectiveness of better lighting. It discusses the considerations that should be weighed in pursuing this approach, suggests questions that should be asked, and lists the steps that should be followed in improving lighting. Finally, it suggests measures that can be used to assess the effectiveness of the lighting solutions that have been implemented.

You can access this resource online here.