‘No link between lights switch-off and rise in crime levels’

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Lincolnshire Police has released its initial findings into the effect the introduction of part-night street lighting has had on the county’s crime levels.

The force’s report says that there is no evidence to suggest the Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) initiative has caused an increase in overnight crime.

The report has compared crime levels before the council introduced part-night lighting to now when 42,000 street lights are being switched off between midnight and 6am.

Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West said: “Our findings so far are that there has been a slight increase in overnight crimes. This is not surprising as we are experiencing more calls than ever before and overall crime in Lincolnshire has increased, as it has nationally. Crime is up by four per cent in our county and the national average stands at an 11 per cent rise. At present we believe there is no link between the introduction of part-night lighting and levels of crime.”

n Last week, we asked readers to take part in our survey about the street lighting programme. Of 188 participants, 84 per cent said they disagree with street lights in residential areas being switched off at night, while 81.9 per cent said they disagreed with lights in town centres and on out-of-town roads being switched off.

Meanwhile, 82.4 per cent called for the part-night street lighting programme to be scrapped altogether.

The Mercury’s survey coincided with the public consultation launched by LCC on its ‘street light transformation programme’ which aims to save £1.7m per year from its £5m annual street lighting budget. Around 42,000 street lights, mainly in residential areas, are switched off between midnight and 6am.

The council is reviewing the impact on: the environment; road collisions; crime rates; fears about safety and crime; emergency services; health and public health services; and the impact on businesses.

Find the survey at www.lin