Police: Leave porch lights on to stem crime

Helping prevent crime in your neighborhood can be as simple as deciding to leave your porch lights on.

Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus Police Department, says that small step can make a big difference. He said criminals generally like to work under the cover of darkness and leaving outside lights on can frequently be enough to deter crime.

But it also has the side benefit of allowing observant neighbors to get a good view of goings on and to see suspicious activities on your property. Plus, with LED lighting the price to keep lights on all night has dropped dramatically and the bulbs are very long-lasting.

Harris spoke Tuesday night to the Ninth Street Park Neighborhood Watch group. Residents of the neighborhood talked about concerns such as graffiti, theft, abandoned cars and hypodermic needles being found in yards and sidewalks.

Harris said that if you find hypodermic needles, don’t touch them or clean them up yourself and risk injury or disease. He said you can call the emergency operations center non-emergency line at 812-379-1689 or the police department at 812-376-2600 to have the needles picked up. Harris said that in the event all officers are busy, the city’s park patrol has also been trained in needle collection and can be called in to help.