Street lights: Police U-turn

Echo: Michael Love – wants street lights back on Michael Love – wants street lights back on

POLICE have called for street lights to be switched on in part of Essex hit by burglaries, triggering a barrage of criticism from campaigners who demand the same.

Essex Police asked for the lights back on in four roads in Pilgrims Hatch, near Brentwood, to be left on for a temporary period because of an upswing in burglaries in the area.

But officers refuse to ask for any lights to be turned back on elsewhere in the county, and still don’t accept that having the lights off makes crime worse.

Residents have questioned why one area gets special treatment.

Michael Love, 30, of Keats Way, Wickford, said: “If they’re doing it elsewhere, why not do it everywhere? They should not have one thing for some and not for others.”

George Phillips, 48, of The Gore, Basildon, agreed. He said: “The lights should be switched back on. I had tools stolen from my front shed, a neighbour has also been hit, crime in this area is really high.”

Nigel Smith, Basildon Council’s Labour leader, said: “The county council should change its mind about this.”

An Essex Police spokesman said there were no plans to ask for the lights to be switched on in any other part of the county.

He added: “There has been an increase in the number of burglaries in the Pilgrims Hatch area over the past fewweeks.

“As a preventative measure, we have asked for the street lights in that area to be kept on.

“This is just one tactic we are using to manage this problem in this area.

“The general experience in part of Essex has been that a reduction in street lighting has not led to any noticeable increase in crime.

“We will monitor with interest the consequences of any changes in the patterns of street lighting for any impacts on crime.”

Comments (10)

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12:37pm Sat 24 May 14

bazza 1 says...

It's not all about crime increasing, even though I suspect the majority of extra crime is petty stuff, like minor vandalism to cars that people don't bother reporting to the police. Not having street lights is, to my mind, a step backwards in terms of safety, and feeling safe. Most of the paved areas and roads in Basildon, are in a terrible state of disrepair, and are hazardous even in daylight. At night, without lighting they are a hundred times worse. If you are walking, riding a bike, or on a motorbike, some of the potholes could cause bad accidents. Maybe it's time we started badgering the police with complaints of unsocial behaviour and the vandalism we just tend to put up with. Maybe if their statistics were seen to be increasing, we might get the lights back. So next time an unlicensed off road motor bike roars past your front door on the pavement, instead of shaking your head, phone 101, and complain.
It's not all about crime increasing, even though I suspect the majority of extra crime is petty stuff, like minor vandalism to cars that people don't bother reporting to the police. Not having street lights is, to my mind, a step backwards in terms of safety, and feeling safe. Most of the paved areas and roads in Basildon, are in a terrible state of disrepair, and are hazardous even in daylight. At night, without lighting they are a hundred times worse. If you are walking, riding a bike, or on a motorbike, some of the potholes could cause bad accidents. Maybe it's time we started badgering the police with complaints of unsocial behaviour and the vandalism we just tend to put up with. Maybe if their statistics were seen to be increasing, we might get the lights back. So next time an unlicensed off road motor bike roars past your front door on the pavement, instead of shaking your head, phone 101, and complain. bazza 1
  • Score: 45

8:16pm Sat 24 May 14

thinkingofyou1 says...

I think it is disgusting actually. Was thinking about it all morning after I collected my daughter on her way home from a party. It is absolutely pitch black and you can hardly even see to turn the car around in case you hit something or more importantly someone when your on a side road. I appreciate its to save money but peoples safety must be a major priority. Rather pay for my refuse bags and have the lights on.
I think it is disgusting actually. Was thinking about it all morning after I collected my daughter on her way home from a party. It is absolutely pitch black and you can hardly even see to turn the car around in case you hit something or more importantly someone when your on a side road. I appreciate its to save money but peoples safety must be a major priority. Rather pay for my refuse bags and have the lights on. thinkingofyou1
  • Score: 16

8:31pm Sat 24 May 14

profondo asbo says...

the lights off brigade are notable only by their absence from this thread
the lights off brigade are notable only by their absence from this thread profondo asbo
  • Score: 6

10:52pm Sat 24 May 14

Devils Advocate says...

Why don't they try some LED fittings interspersed and on all night? Much cheaper to run than, for instance, Sodium lamps and lifespan is around 5000 hours. A 30w LED smd flood lamp has to be seen to be believed. But, another alternative is to provide railings, cameras and security patrols. then we would have gated communities just like the people imposing all this on us!
Why don't they try some LED fittings interspersed and on all night? Much cheaper to run than, for instance, Sodium lamps and lifespan is around 5000 hours. A 30w LED smd flood lamp has to be seen to be believed. But, another alternative is to provide railings, cameras and security patrols. then we would have gated communities just like the people imposing all this on us! Devils Advocate
  • Score: 12

8:35am Sun 25 May 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

Pilgrims Hatch Brentwood, rich dudes live there dont they. Not just that the police want them turned on the rich dudes do. There have been many burglaries around town especially in Shoeburyness, turn the lights on there as well and in fact everywhere.
Pilgrims Hatch Brentwood, rich dudes live there dont they. Not just that the police want them turned on the rich dudes do. There have been many burglaries around town especially in Shoeburyness, turn the lights on there as well and in fact everywhere. CHRISTMAS CAROL
  • Score: 7

10:00am Sun 25 May 14

Jack222 says...

Keep the lights off. Petty thieves like daytime - they dont want people in the houses they are stealing from. And the lights off are only from midnight to 5am

Professional thieves will steal at anytime, with or without lights.

Save our money! Keep the lights off - do you want to waste your Council tax?
Keep the lights off. Petty thieves like daytime - they dont want people in the houses they are stealing from. And the lights off are only from midnight to 5am Professional thieves will steal at anytime, with or without lights. Save our money! Keep the lights off - do you want to waste your Council tax? Jack222
  • Score: -12

4:05pm Sun 25 May 14

Devils Advocate says...

Jack222 wrote:
Keep the lights off. Petty thieves like daytime - they dont want people in the houses they are stealing from. And the lights off are only from midnight to 5am

Professional thieves will steal at anytime, with or without lights.

Save our money! Keep the lights off - do you want to waste your Council tax?
statitstics prove you wrong there. The huge spate of burglaries around Basildon recently were all at night, which has always been the way of cat burglars. Arguable though, is the amount of lights required. The council always had the alternative of cutting a phase out which would save a third, then on the main arterials cutting two thirds, still keeping a safety element in place. then they can save your money to use elsewhere. You really think you are getting value for your money otherwise?
[quote][p][bold]Jack222[/bold] wrote: Keep the lights off. Petty thieves like daytime - they dont want people in the houses they are stealing from. And the lights off are only from midnight to 5am Professional thieves will steal at anytime, with or without lights. Save our money! Keep the lights off - do you want to waste your Council tax?[/p][/quote]statitstics prove you wrong there. The huge spate of burglaries around Basildon recently were all at night, which has always been the way of cat burglars. Arguable though, is the amount of lights required. The council always had the alternative of cutting a phase out which would save a third, then on the main arterials cutting two thirds, still keeping a safety element in place. then they can save your money to use elsewhere. You really think you are getting value for your money otherwise? Devils Advocate
  • Score: 6

12:44pm Mon 26 May 14

Ladydolphin.mh says...

I DARE NOT GO OUT AT NIGHT AS I AM DISABLEDW ITH MOBILITY PROBLEMS. THE PAVEMENTS AROUND MY BUNGULOW ARE A DEATHTRAP ALTHOUGH THE COUNTY COUNCIL HIGHWAYS INSPECTOR DOESN'T SEE ANYTHING WRONG WITH THEM WHICH I REALLY CAN'T UNDERSTAND.
BUT ANYWAY, THEY HAVE TURNED THE LIGHTS OFF AT CURTAIN TIMES OF THE NIGHT, CUT BACK ON POLICING YET WE WE ARE STILL PAYING THE SAME IN COUNCIL TAX.
IT JUST SEEMS THAT BECAUSE BRENTWOOD WHICH IS KNOWN BY THE MAJORITY OF US TO BE A RICH AREA SEEMS TO BE TREATED DIFFERENTELY, IT JUST DOESN'T SEEM RIGHT TO ME!
I DARE NOT GO OUT AT NIGHT AS I AM DISABLEDW ITH MOBILITY PROBLEMS. THE PAVEMENTS AROUND MY BUNGULOW ARE A DEATHTRAP ALTHOUGH THE COUNTY COUNCIL HIGHWAYS INSPECTOR DOESN'T SEE ANYTHING WRONG WITH THEM WHICH I REALLY CAN'T UNDERSTAND. BUT ANYWAY, THEY HAVE TURNED THE LIGHTS OFF AT CURTAIN TIMES OF THE NIGHT, CUT BACK ON POLICING YET WE WE ARE STILL PAYING THE SAME IN COUNCIL TAX. IT JUST SEEMS THAT BECAUSE BRENTWOOD WHICH IS KNOWN BY THE MAJORITY OF US TO BE A RICH AREA SEEMS TO BE TREATED DIFFERENTELY, IT JUST DOESN'T SEEM RIGHT TO ME! Ladydolphin.mh
  • Score: 5

2:20pm Mon 26 May 14

Devils Advocate says...

Ladydolphin.mh wrote:
I DARE NOT GO OUT AT NIGHT AS I AM DISABLEDW ITH MOBILITY PROBLEMS. THE PAVEMENTS AROUND MY BUNGULOW ARE A DEATHTRAP ALTHOUGH THE COUNTY COUNCIL HIGHWAYS INSPECTOR DOESN'T SEE ANYTHING WRONG WITH THEM WHICH I REALLY CAN'T UNDERSTAND.
BUT ANYWAY, THEY HAVE TURNED THE LIGHTS OFF AT CURTAIN TIMES OF THE NIGHT, CUT BACK ON POLICING YET WE WE ARE STILL PAYING THE SAME IN COUNCIL TAX.
IT JUST SEEMS THAT BECAUSE BRENTWOOD WHICH IS KNOWN BY THE MAJORITY OF US TO BE A RICH AREA SEEMS TO BE TREATED DIFFERENTELY, IT JUST DOESN'T SEEM RIGHT TO ME!
This seems to be the way with the County Council. I have reported a fault in the lighting around where I live, but apart from getting a contractor out to have a sniff, nothing has been done. Yet this involves a busy junction where the keep left signs , the give way signs and the traffic calming signs as well as a few street lights. When the others go off at midnight, the roads are jet black. Cyclists without powerful headlights will probably the first ones to get killed, probably when they swerve to avoid a massive pothole which will be 1mm shallower than the council care about. Still, keep the evidence of our notification and, when the inevitable happens, tell the Echo and the injured parties and perhaps the council will be brought to book!
[quote][p][bold]Ladydolphin.mh[/bold] wrote: I DARE NOT GO OUT AT NIGHT AS I AM DISABLEDW ITH MOBILITY PROBLEMS. THE PAVEMENTS AROUND MY BUNGULOW ARE A DEATHTRAP ALTHOUGH THE COUNTY COUNCIL HIGHWAYS INSPECTOR DOESN'T SEE ANYTHING WRONG WITH THEM WHICH I REALLY CAN'T UNDERSTAND. BUT ANYWAY, THEY HAVE TURNED THE LIGHTS OFF AT CURTAIN TIMES OF THE NIGHT, CUT BACK ON POLICING YET WE WE ARE STILL PAYING THE SAME IN COUNCIL TAX. IT JUST SEEMS THAT BECAUSE BRENTWOOD WHICH IS KNOWN BY THE MAJORITY OF US TO BE A RICH AREA SEEMS TO BE TREATED DIFFERENTELY, IT JUST DOESN'T SEEM RIGHT TO ME![/p][/quote]This seems to be the way with the County Council. I have reported a fault in the lighting around where I live, but apart from getting a contractor out to have a sniff, nothing has been done. Yet this involves a busy junction where the keep left signs , the give way signs and the traffic calming signs as well as a few street lights. When the others go off at midnight, the roads are jet black. Cyclists without powerful headlights will probably the first ones to get killed, probably when they swerve to avoid a massive pothole which will be 1mm shallower than the council care about. Still, keep the evidence of our notification and, when the inevitable happens, tell the Echo and the injured parties and perhaps the council will be brought to book! Devils Advocate
  • Score: 2

2:21pm Tue 27 May 14

21 Jeanneham says...

Where has the money gone from turning off the lights. The roads are potholed and dangerous, no money spent there
Where has the money gone from turning off the lights. The roads are potholed and dangerous, no money spent there 21 Jeanneham
  • Score: 1

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