Good lighting is least costly security and safety measure

Published 6:00 am Friday, December 23, 2016

Good lighting is  least costly security  and safety measure

City officials in Batesville on Tuesday voted to request that TVEPA place two street lights near the entrance to the Piggly Wiggly parking lot on Highway 51. That’s a step to help drivers trying to turn into the parking lot during hours of darkness.
They also agreed to a request from the owners of Batesville Elderly Apartments on Eureka Street to place a streetlight there.
Batesville police have asked us to publicize common sense safety tips to help people avoid becoming victim of criminals. Perhaps the most practical among their suggestions: avoid parking in dark places.
But at the Batesville Shopping Center on Keating Road and Highway 6, that’s not as easy as it should be. There are nine light poles spaced through the large parking lot with four lights on each pole, 36 lights in all, but during a recent visit we counted four of them working, 4 out of 36.
There is some illumination for shoppers in front of the stores and more from city street lights along Keating Road, but the middle of the large parking lot gets little light. It’s dark.
According to Panola County property records, the center is now owned by NG 199 Keating Road LLC, a New York corporation with a Horn Lake agent. That probably means that any pressure on the owners to repair and improve the lighting will have to come from the merchant tenants of the shopping center in the interest of the safety of their customers.
There are other shopping areas in the city where lighting should be improved, but none have been so obviously neglected. Parking areas that are not city property are the responsibility of the owners.
The city, recognizing that good lighting is the least expensive security and safety measure available, regularly adds streetlights on streets and other public areas where they are needed. Owners of private parking areas should inspect their properties and look for areas where their customers might fall prey to criminals and make the needed adjustments.

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