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November 19, 2017, 11:57:23 am
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Author Topic: Criminals take a Fancy to Streetlights  (Read 2244 times)
patric
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« on: November 26, 2005, 01:39:05 pm »

When a neighborhood takes action against a spike in crime, a number of things happen that usually involve stepped-up patrols, increased vigilance and neighborhood awareness, and sometimes installing more streetlights.

In the short term, the problem usually subsides, and the credit almost always goes exclusively to the addition of more or brighter streetlights (even after the crime figures creep back up once the increased patrols and resident's vigilance taper down) lending some to actually give credibility to the century-old myth that streetlights repel crime.

The Tulsa Whirled apparently missed this story out of Baltimore, where some criminals have taken a certain fondness to their city's 'crime-fighting' lights:

BALTIMORE, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Thirty-foot aluminum light poles are vanishing from Baltimore streets and police are baffled.



Thieves have made off with some 130 poles in the past several weeks, authorities say, presumably to be sold for scrap meal, the New York Times said.

The pilfered poles, which weigh about 250 pounds apiece, have been snatched during the day and in the middle of the night, from two-lane blacktop roads and from parkways with three lanes on either side of grass median strips, in poor areas and in some of the city's most affluent neighborhoods.

Left behind are half-foot stubs of metal, with wires that carry 120 volts neatly tied and wrapped in black electric tape.

It will cost about $156,000 to replace each pole, the metal arms that extend over roads and the glass globes, city officials said.


http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20051125-114803-1656r
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"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
jdb
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2005, 04:08:40 pm »

Conciderate criminals, to secure the hot wires, eh? Wouldn't one need a log hoe to pluck one of those poles? Pretty daring crime. I'd sooner run for office. (less probation if caught)

About the only trouble (touch wood) in our hood is tagging. Street lights didn't help, people walking around did. Now the people walking around liked the lights but that's because they don't have that nasty glare blasting through their bedroom windows.

"Ah, life downtown: you can't afford to skimp on the window blinds" - jdb


I guess that's an upshot for my DT hood, were the light poles are the kero-soaked, raspy wood units. No one would want them, including us.

OTOH, it would remove the hideous cobra-head's.

er, if our light poles start vanishing, it wasn't us!

edited to remove incrininating statement


« Last Edit: November 26, 2005, 04:10:19 pm by jdb » Logged
patric
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2005, 04:39:54 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by jdb

About the only trouble (touch wood) in our hood is tagging. Street lights didn't help, people walking around did.




I think you may have something there...
From my reading, taggers tend to prefer lighted surfaces where their work can be seen 24/7, but if some well-placed, glare-free street lighting of moderate intensity encourages families to venture out for an evening walk (or that strange nocturnal craving for a Popsicle) im all for it.

OTOH, while lighted areas do promote more nighttime utilization, the same light that helps citizens identify potential bad guys also helps bad guys identify potential victims, so you should never assume you are any more safe under a streetlight at midnight than you are at noon.  Glare is a poor substitute for common sense.
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"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
shadows
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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2005, 07:43:24 pm »

Lets hope China that is buying our scrap metals, like Japan did before WWll, does not plan to send it back like Japan did.   As former president Clinton indicated that our prestige has reached a new low in the world when we cannot find any reason to invade a nation other than the president  just didn’t like its leader.  

It is time to come home and regroup thus look for a better reason.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2005, 07:53:12 pm by shadows » Logged

Today we stand in ecstasy and view that we build today’
Tomorrow we will enter into the plea to have it torn away.
patric
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2006, 11:17:51 pm »

The Oklahoma Attorney General's office has formed a task force to investigate the rash of thefts involving streetlights:  FOX23 led their 9pm newscast Wednesday with a somewhat darker live shot from west Tulsa where thieves made off with about $18,000 of wire stolen from Tulsa streetlights [B)]
Id post a link but they dont have it on their website.

Think maybe the Task Force will recommend more streetlights to ward off the evildoers?
[Wink]
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"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
si_uk_lon_ok
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2006, 12:27:09 am »

quote:
Originally posted by patric

The Oklahoma Attorney General's office has formed a task force to investigate the rash of thefts involving streetlights:  FOX23 led their 9pm newscast Wednesday with a somewhat darker live shot from west Tulsa where thieves made off with about $18,000 of wire stolen from Tulsa streetlights [B)]
Id post a link but they dont have it on their website.

Think maybe the Task Force will recommend more streetlights to ward off the evildoers?
[Wink]



Would Tulsa be allowed to fit CCTV, to monitor the lights?
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Sangria
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2006, 09:00:39 am »

There is a lot we can do to help improve Tulsa.

We can be more dilligent in watching out for each other and getting involved with the community.

We can pick up trash or for some - simply quit throwing it out the window. [}:)]

We can turn in the evil doers.

We can start neighborhood alert programs.

We can make sure our own kids are not part of the growing gang problems.

We can teach our kids a sense of self worth, teach them to work and take care of themselves so they don't end up on welfare.

WE CAN DO ALOT TO IMPROVE TULSA - we just have to start at home.

If everyone would raise their kids to know right from wrong, to leave things alone that don't belong to them - we would not have a problem with the street lights.
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YoungTulsan
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2006, 11:56:31 am »

How does a pole cost 156,000 dollars?  A house costs that much.  Why does the government let suppliers and contractors get away with such rape?  Why do we let the government get away with spending money in such a manner.  AAAAAAHHHGG!!
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patric
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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2006, 11:56:52 am »

Fox23 got around to posting the video on their website -- dont know how long this link is good for so get it while it's hot:
http://www.fox23.com/mediacenter/default.aspx?videoId=17369@video.fox23.com,17368@video.fox23.com,17367@video.fox23.com,17372@video.fox23.com,17371@video.fox23.com,17370@video.fox23.com&navCatId=5&2=2


quote:
Originally posted by si_uk_lon_ok

Would Tulsa be allowed to fit CCTV, to monitor the lights?


Ask Baltimore or Cincinnati, where they attached alarms to streetlights to try and keep people from stealing them:

"Baltimore has some dark stories. This winter, thieves cut down and carted away 136 streetlights (for the aluminum, police say). So bureaucrats decided that the city's surveillance cams needed to do more to deter crime. Their solution: Five $5,000 solar-powered digital imagers that shout when they sense motion. It's not exactly trash talk. "Stop! We have just taken your photograph. We will use this photograph to prosecute you. Leave the area now!"
Do they work? Do car alarms? Similarly chatty cams, installed in Cincinnati in 2004, got noise  complaints. Baltimore's just hoping no one steals them."

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.03/start.html?pg=6


As for the effectiveness of so-called "crime cameras", The National Institute of Justice reported the effectiveness of crime cameras ranging from zero to 94% effective, depending on who was keeping track:

"There are seven evaluations from Great Britain of the effects of CCTV on vehicle crimes (thefts of vehicles, thefts from vehicles, and damage to vehicles), but no evaluations of its effect on other crimes in parking facilities (Poyner 1992; Tilly 1993c). The weakest of the evaluations found no effect (Coventry lots, in Tilly 1993c). The other six evaluations found varying levels of decline in vehicle crimes. In the CCTV parking lots evaluated, thefts from vehicles declined 46 to 94 percent, and thefts of vehicles dropped 18 to 89 percent, depending on the evaluation. We do not know if these results can be replicated in the United States. There is no empirical basis for recommending CCTV to prevent parking lot violence. The results suggest that CCTV should be tested in high vehicle crime parking lots within the United States. Because of the lack of significance tests we must classify CCTV in parking facilities as having "unknown" prevention effectiveness."

PREVENTING CRIME: WHAT WORKS, WHAT DOESN'T, WHAT'S PROMISING
A REPORT TO THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS
Prepared for the National Institute of Justice
http://www.ncjrs.gov/works/chapter7.htm


Police in Washington have raised doubts as to their effectiveness:

"WASHINGTON -- Many D.C. police said they had hoped that installing dozens of new surveillance cameras across the city would assist them in cracking down on crime, but the system does not appear to be working as planned." http://www.infowars.com/articles/bb/cams_dc_police_cameras_no_help_fight_crime.htm

"The promising technical fix to a stubborn, age-old problem is what city governments find so alluring about crime cameras. But it's an illusion.
Catching criminals on camera has done little to stop violence in Baltimore, Chicago, New York and San Francisco in recent years and come at substantial cost to civil liberties. Now, in Washington, with 48 cameras installed in high-crime neighborhoods as part of the response to this summer's crime-emergency, we are about to have our first taste of their failure."  http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20061005-095252-1901r.htm


Melbourne is dumping it's expensive system as ineffective:

"Melbourne City Council last night voted to dump its network of 23 security cameras after councilors argued the cameras had failed miserably to prevent crime.
Greens councilor David Risstrom led the charge against the cameras and said the half a million dollars they cost each year would be better spent on police presence. "This system is costing us hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, yet all of the research shows that the cameras don't make people safe in the city, nor do they deter crime," he said." http://www.theage.com.au/cgi-bin/common/popupPrintArticle.pl?path=/articles/2004/04/13/1081838728290.html


And in London, it has fallen into abuse:

"Thousands of cameras installed originally to counter terrorism or robbery could end up trapping more motorists than criminals. Indeed, the use of CCTV cameras for traffic enforcement has been so successful it is likely to be taken up nationally."
"Councils are naturally delighted about the prospects for revenue raising; private contractors such as NCP will set up the cameras while the councils watch the money roll in." http://driving.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,22750-2079711,00.html


IMHO, our money would be better spent on high-visibility prevention, perhaps more Black-and-Whites in motion.  The annual electricity and maintenance of just one or two poorly-planned streetlights would likely cover the cost of a traditional police paint job.
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"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
YoungTulsan
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2006, 12:02:58 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by YoungTulsan

How does a pole cost 156,000 dollars?  A house costs that much.  Why does the government let suppliers and contractors get away with such rape?  Why do we let the government get away with spending money in such a manner.  AAAAAAHHHGG!!



I'm hoping I got that wrong and the story meant $156,000 to replace the 130 poles.  Smiley  Ignore me now please.
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patric
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2006, 12:08:30 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by YoungTulsan

Why does the government let suppliers and contractors get away with such rape?  Why do we let the government get away with spending money in such a manner.  AAAAAAHHHGG!!



Ask your councilor, who has to placate constituents who shriek about the city's "negligence" for not "protecting" them with enough streetlights.  

It doesnt matter that the empirical evidence is lacking as long as the perception of safety is there (and you can thank generations of fear-mongering utility marketing for that).
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"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
papaspot
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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2006, 12:22:03 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by jdb

Conciderate criminals, to secure the hot wires, eh?


I doubt if it was just a matter of them being considerate but I dunno. It strikes me that, if they get caught pilfering poles, the charge would be grand theft. If someone got fried because of their thefts, a murder one charge might be tossed in for good measure.
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papaspot
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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2006, 12:25:24 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by patric

quote:
Originally posted by YoungTulsan

Why does the government let suppliers and contractors get away with such rape?  Why do we let the government get away with spending money in such a manner.  AAAAAAHHHGG!!



Ask your councilor, who has to placate constituents who shriek about the city's "negligence" for not "protecting" them with enough streetlights.  

It doesnt matter that the empirical evidence is lacking as long as the perception of safety is there (and you can thank generations of fear-mongering utility marketing for that).



You're right--all the additional street lights have done is to create the illusion of security. But we spend millions on installation, utility costs and maintenance because the myth is so ingrained. Meanwhile, I can't see a freakin' full moon from my backyard with a 16" telescope. [Sad!]
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papaspot
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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2006, 12:27:15 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by jdb


edited to remove incrininating statement



[}:)]
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patric
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These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For


« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2017, 05:50:23 pm »

Replacing copper with aluminum is the city's plan to halt wire theft along expressways.  Hows that working?

Copper, aluminum wire stolen from lights along I-244
http://www.fox23.com/news/copper-aluminum-wire-stolen-from-lights-along-i-244/490027485

Seriously, lets cut our losses and concentrate on bridges and the high-mast lighting at interchanges.


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"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
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