Let’s call it the blue light special. Can blue lights reduce crime?
Why would a change to blue street lamps offer a correlation in the reduction of crime in the areas they occupy?
There doesn’t appear to be anything that would form a link and yet, when blue lamps were introduced to Glasgow, a city well acquainted with street robberies and violence, it saw an immediate reduction in crime.
Perhaps it was coincidence, something that had appeared at the confluence of other measures taken to tackle the issues that have given the city a fearsome reputation, except that thousands of miles away, in Japan, the same thing happened.
Street lighting in Nara was changed and the city witnessed similar decreases. But violent street crime in wealthy Japan is rare, whereas the deprived environment of Glasgow is different.
Blue lights went on to be placed on dangerous roads and on a Yokohama railway, where suicides were once common, blue lights ended the problem, with no attempts being made at that location in the following years.
But why? Is there are simple reason, or is it all just a fluke?
Blue lights are associated with police in some countries, so it might have a subconscious effect on would-be criminals. Blue is also calming and relieves stress, whereas reds can be associated with anger and negativity.
Whatever it is, there is still no clear evidence why blue has such a positive effect on individuals in diverse cultures. We can only hope that such measures will last into the future and not be a temporary fix.