The debate has been ongoing for decades over how much street lamps reduce crime and vehicle accidents. My feelings are that they help a little in both these aspects of safety but not by much. When you consider the ongoing costs of electricity and other improvements that could have been made, street lights are not worth it.
After quickly reviewing the evidence I may have to change my opinion, slightly. This Swedish metanalysisfound that the 13 studies (8 American and 5 British), taken together,
showed that improved lighting led to a significant 21% decrease in crime in experimental areas compared with comparable control areas.
Dammit as a self described sceptic I will have to change my mind, but wait.
Since these studies did not find that nighttime crimes decreased more than daytime crimes
Yes the crime dropped, but for the studies which measured both day and night crime, both dropped by similar amounts. This suggests either the control areas are somehow different in some other way or more likely that street lamps give a perception of improvement and a more upmarket neighbourhood.
As a fan of the night sky and I find it unnatural to live in an orange glow, moon light is far more romantic I stand by my opinion that street lights should be concentrated in city centres, leave everywhere else dark.