EDITORIAL: Improved lighting a necessity
Mon, 07/11/2016 - 12:00am
LAST week, Business Monday carried a story which spoke to a comment from Assistant Commissioner of Police, Erwin Boyce, about the issue of lighting in the capital city and the benefits of this initiative.
We agree with the need to advance this initiative to increase the lighting in the City because of the numerous benefits which it has. Firstly, a well-lit city enhances the beauty of the area and highlights aspects of our capital and the wonderful sights which illustrate exactly why it has been included in the UNESCO Historic Site.
Just look at the designs throughout the city, some old and some recently renovated but still staying true to the architectural majesty which forms part of our history.
The other aspect is that increased and strategic lighting deters the criminal element, which would seek to impose fear upon our citizens and visitors.
Crime, as many security professionals will attest, needs opportunity and in many cases, easy access. The ability of a criminal to take a victim by surprise, creates the opportunity to commit an act much easier.
There is no excuse why in 2016, some major parts of the City remain a target of criminal threat. Why is this?
Too many dark spots
Earlier this year, this newspaper carried a story about the Royal Shop taking the decision to improve the sidewalk to the west of its location, by repairing it and placing red tiles on it. That was met by someone using white paint to spoil the work, leaving the company in the red literally for an act which would only had led to a major enhancement in the tourist belt of Broad Street.
What about the feeder roads into Bridgetown? Tudor Bridge, Baxter’s Road, Country Road, Swan Street – the list can go on and on. Take Country Road for example, drive through that major road after 6:30 p.m. and the variance between midday and then is stunning. It becomes a ghost town and as people pass the National Housing Corporation, it is clear that it would not be safe to continue.
The same can be said of the other roads. There are too many dark spots and people can move too easily through them to create havoc.
So the time for talking has to come to an end. Tourism remains the lifeblood of the Barbadian economy. We spoke about the potential impact of Brexit and other external shocks on the vulnerable economy just last week, but we cannot control these things. We should focus on what we actually can control and that is our local security.
While businesses focus on their security, we as a country should devise a plan which addresses lighting of the City. Even looking at solar lighting can be an option if the concern is about high energy costs. It is a project in our 50th year of Independence that can go beyond the formal lighting of the City for a month; let us devise a way to make it year round.