It seemed like a good idea when New York City allocated some $80 million to improve the lighting at 15 of its most crime-ridden public housing projects a year ago.
But something happened on the way to installation: The criminals moved on to other locations.
‘Since the 15 were first selected in July 2014, the problem has shifted to other developments that are not going to get the enhanced lighting,’ writes the New York Daily News. ‘In some cases, the crime has simply moved across the street.’
The knifers and muggers started scattering to new locations after New York installed temporary high-powered lights at the 15 in preparation for permanent new lighting, while also adding other security measures.
‘As a result, between Jan. 1 and July 26, crime fell at 10 of the 15, stayed flat at one and rose at four compared with the same period last year,’ the Daily News reports.
In one example in the Bronx crime dropped 50 per cent at one of the 15, called Patterson Houses, while spiking by 37 per cent two block away at the Mitchel Houses, which were not among the 15, the paper notes.
An official from the New York City Police Department’s housing bureau said the NYPD is re-evaluating the fifteen. But the chairperson of the New York City Housing Development Authority said the focus will remain on the fifteen, with improvements scheduled to take place through next June.
Photo is from Sean Pavone via Shutterstock