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On Sunday, 25 October 2015 at 02:00 hrs something happened to the clocks in the UK. At that precise time we had to turn them back one hour, marking the end of Daylight Saving Time.
Police data tells us that this clock change coincides with a spike in property crime and if you think about it it’s pretty obvious why.
These are the facts:
- During the evening of October 25th sunset in London was at 5:50pm and it was dark by 6:20pm – Lots of people would have been home from work by then
- Due to the clock change on the next day in late October sunset in London was at 4:47pm and it was dark by 5:17pm – Lots of people were NOT home from work by then
- Unoccupied homes, especially those not displaying lights, are more likely to be burgled. This is because a burglar/thief can easily spot an unlit home and can use the extra coverage of darkness to commit the crime
- Due to the loss of one evening daylight hour we will have to switch on our internal and external lights earlier thus using/wasting more energy
What to do:
- You need to make sure that your home does not stand out in the road by being in darkness. Start planning your security lighting improvements in the summer – in plenty of time
- Make your home look occupied by displaying internal lights. Operate these lights on timers and or solar switches
- Operate external lights by your entrance door, preferable using a solar switch, so that the entrance is automatically lit up for your arrival home
- Vertical blinds, thick nets etc can mask the fact that nobody is at home when the internal timed lights come on
- Think about getting one of those ‘Fake TV’ lights that give the impression that someone is watching TV in a room. I use mine upstairs in a front bedroom with the vertical blinds closed – very effective.
- Make sure your home security is up to scratch
This now permanent message is really, really important since your early actions to improve the lighting can prevent crime
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has been campaigning for Lighter Evenings for many years. This is a campaign I support, because if we adopted Single/Double British Summertime and permanently moved our clocks forward by one hour we would not only save lives on our roads and reduce our CO2 emissions, but we would reduce the opportunity for crime in the autumn and winter evenings.
The campaign is already supported by Living Streets, The AA, Brake (the British road safety charity), PACTS (the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport and Safety), and many other organisations across the country.
Read the Lighter Evenings page on RoSPA’s website and click their support button if you agree with what they say. I would appreciate some tweeting and sharing of this page – thanks.
Updated July 2017