Dimmed lights blamed following crime rise

Residents of Oakland, California, are claiming that a reduction in street lighting has led to an increase in crime.

Street lighting restrictions requires the city to begin to use energy-efficient bulbs and cap new lamp posts to stop light from flooding the sky.

However, homicides in the city are up to 85 so far this year, an increase of 25 per cent on last year.

Now residents, who include pastor Zachary E. Carey, have launched a campaign against the light restrictions.

Mr Carey said: “It’s real easy to hide when it’s dark everywhere.

“How do you prevent crime when people know you can’t see them?”

Prior to budget cuts in 2007, Oakland police and city officials requested temporary lighting increases in major crime spots and Howard Jordan, the city’s assistant police chief, said a permanent increase could help reduce crime levels.

“Most of these crooks, when they commit a crime, want to do it in darkness,” he said.

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