Community and Crime

I’m working on a book about darkness (You can get regular instalments of my progress over on Patreon – ). The relationship between darkness and crime, light and crime prevention is something I’ve been looking at. I recently came across a study that suggested some really interesting things. Apparently lighting tends to reduce crime in areas, but that the crime reduction applies to the day as well as the night, so the impact of light improvement isn’t actually about visibility, necessary.

This got me thinking about other studies I’ve seen about the way tree planting impacts on crime. I’ve blogged about this before. Put in trees and crime reduces. We’re less violent when we have trees. It strikes me that these things may well be related. In both cases what might be happening is a feeling that a space is valued, and by extension, the people in the space are valued. Investment in community infrastructure could well have an impact on peoples’ sense of self worth.

Quite a lot of crime is opportunistic and not especially planned. What kinds of feelings do you have to have about a place and its people to go in for opportunistic crime? If you felt more engaged, more involved, more like part of a community, would that work the same way? Regeneration projects tend to increase feelings of involvement and engagement, especially when people are involved and not just having it done to them.

What happens when we see ourselves as connected? What happens when we’re given opportunities for cooperation and have shared spaces we can use communally? Perhaps how people treat spaces and each other isn’t intrinsic to said people, and has more to do with how the space impacts on them. We are influenced by our environments, and the spaces we spend time are full of messages about who we are and what we can expect. Most of those messages are absorbed unconsciously. If your environment gives you constant messages of isolation and worthlessness, what are the odds of you feeling warm, positive and generous towards your surroundings and fellows?

Planting trees. Having well considered street lighting. How we shape our shared spaces may be key to the kinds of relationships we have with each other.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

6 responses to “Community and Crime

  • Sheila Murrey

    I am intrigued by this “play” that you’re into here! Yes!!! We CONNECT on Tree planting and the influence trees have on us, (like how the 400+ year old Yew tree behind Rosslyn castle affected ME in 2019 when we visited!). Beautiful!!

    “What happens when we see ourselves as connected?” That IS what we explore on my public Facebook group, We Are All Connected, and why I follow Nassim Haramein/Resonance Academy. ❤️🦋🌀🎼

  • bish

    You may recall about twelve years ago we led an initiative in South Gloucestershire, and turned off our village streetlights after midnight, until about six the next morning. Our crime statistics were already low, but they fell further with the loss of night time lighting. There was some minor disquiet from parishioners in the early days, but we took to heart the comments of the crime specialists who said criminals are under a great deal of stress and always need to know where their escape routes are, do not wish to trip over anything noisy, and need light to work effectively.

  • SensiSpirit

    Very true.

  • locksley2010

    A very interesting concept!

  • shereen leyden

    Thank you very interesting and intriguing

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