§ Dr. Wright
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 16 December,Official Report, column 285, (1) whether his Department will re-examine the British crime surveys of 1988 and 1992 to determine what impact an increase in evening daylight would have on the incidence of crime; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what assessment he had made of recent research on the link between daylight and crime; and what conclusions he has drawn.
§ Mr. Maclean
The Home Office research and planning unit has re-examined the results from the 1988 and 1992 British crime surveys from the point of view of determining how an increase in evening daylight would affect the incidence of crime. These results are summarised in "Time for Change", October 1993, a publication by the Policy Studies Institute. This concludes that "darkness facilitates many criminal acts". Our own assessment however is that, although more crimes are committed when it is dark, definite conclusions are difficult to draw as regards the effect of darkness on overall levels of crime. Increasing evening daylight may for example have different effects for different crimes.
This assessment does not differ from earlier analyses done on the basis of the 1988 data alone, which formed the basis of the discussion in the 1989 Green Paper, paragraphs 46 to 48.