As one of a great many possible examples, consider a study of crime in Adelaide, South Australia, in relation to urban design (Bell 1991 [7]). High crime areas were identified as being ``a poorly lit area along the River Torrens'' and ``magnets of human activity'' in the inner-city area. The writer recalls being surprised at the time by seeing two of these inner-city places, Rundle Street and Rundle Mall, well lit to very brightly lit despite their high crime reputation. Regardless, the urban design guidelines adopted by Bell for dealing with the crime problem included ``safe paths, footpaths, security and lighting'', and ``lighting for safety''. Claimed justification for the approach included a review of the relevant literature. But it is quite clear that no scientific justification existed then for lighting as a crime prevention technique; it was merely a theoretical supposition of Situational Crime Prevention.

A more recent example is by Smith (1996) [103]: ``The single most important CPTED security feature is lighting.'' CPTED is the field of crime prevention through environmental design (eg Michael 2002 [68]), a subset of Situational Crime Prevention. Pease (1998) [89] also noted the importance of lighting to crime prevention practitioners. This reliance on what has been and still is of dubious value fits badly with the generally positive outcomes that appear to result from application of the many other techniques of Situational Crime Prevention (Eck 1997 [31]).

Government authorities in the UK in particular have been increasingly inclined to install more and brighter lighting as a supposed crime prevention measure following the publicity given to the Dudley and Stoke-on-Trent studies (eg ILE 1999 [53]; Pease 1998, 1999 [89,90]; Painter 1999 [81]). This has presumably been spurred on by the provisions of the UK Crime and Disorder Act 1998. An indication that something is wrong is the 28% rise in street crime in the UK in the year ending April 2002 (Hoge 2002 [43]). If the Farrington and Welsh (2002a,b) [34,35] meta-analysis result had been allowed to stand unchallenged, the result could well be even more expenditure on outdoor lighting. Insofar as such expenditure has not gone or would not go into other apparently more successful crime prevention programs, lighting expenditure would therefore be counterproductive.

These issues are taken up in Part 2 of this work.

B. A. J. Clark