‘Crime falls when it is dark’ say roads chiefs

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STREET lights in Dacorum are due to be switched off at the turn of the year to save cash.

Under the measures some lights will be turned off in the early hours of the morning while those in rural areas will be switched off completely.

The move is likely to raise fears of an increase in crime and road accidents but highways chiefs say this has not happened in other areas where ‘part night lighting’ has been introduced.

However, lights will stay on in town centres, at busy junctions and crime hotspots.

Herts County Council says lights are responsible for more than 22,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases and the move will also save £1.3 million.

Councillor Stuart Pile, cabinet chief for highways, said: “There is a rise in fear of crime but what we know is crime falls when the lights are off.”

The county council is spending £4.5 million equipping lampposts with photocells that will tell lights across Herts when to switch on and off.