Could energy crisis drive crime rates up?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
FEBRUARY 23, 2001, 09:45 PM Could energy crisis drive crime rates up?
Tom Hudachko Idaho's NewsChannel 7
With those power rate hikes on the horizon you can bet people will be trying to cut back on power costs. But you may want to think twice about which lights you decide to turn out at your home or business.
A lot of outside lights are as much a crime deterrent as anything else. So now police are worried criminals could take advantage of some homes and businesses trying to conserve energy by turning their lights out.
Joe Martinez, Nampa Police: "With people not turning on lights it does make a difference, it makes it harder on us."
Even police work isn't immune to the ill affects of an energy crisis.
Joe Martinez, Nampa Police: "For the most part we're driving by, keeping our eyes out and seeing what we can see and lights make all the difference in the world."
With power rates on the rise, some businesses are turning out the lights to try and save a little cash. But it may end up costing them in the long run.
Joe Martinez, Nampa Police: "Parking lots like this one, there's not a lot of lights, those lights aren't on up top and that creates a lot of shadows back there for people to hide."
It's hard enough to see someone who's not trying to hide in this parking lot. So while you're sitting inside eating dinner, your car may be easy pray for a criminal.
Joe Martinez, Nampa Police: "As I drive down the street I'm not going to be able to see the people that are walking around the cars, looking in the cars or anything like that."
Compare this parking lot, to this one.
Joe Martinez, Nampa Police: "This side of Nampa Bowl here, you can see the two bright lights on top of the building, these are the lights that have helped to deter a lot of the vehicle burglaries we used to have in this parking lot."
So while the lights may bring the power bill up, at the same time they could help bring the crime rate down.
Joe Martinez, Nampa Police: "There's a lot of crime prevention things that'll help to keep their costs down and one of them is keeping the lights on."
Tom Hudachko reports for NewsChannel 7. E-Mail Tom Hudachko.
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 24, 2001