Street lights to be switched on to tackle anti-social behaviour in Berkhamsted

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Street lights are to be turned on again in parts of Berkhamsted town centre – in a bid to tackle a rise in petty crime.

Herts County Council has agreed to switch the street lights back on all night in the Castle Street and Chapel Street area for a three-month trial ‘imminently’.

It follows what the town council calls a ‘spate’ of recent vandalism, crime and unruly anti-social behaviour around Castle Street, which runs from the High Street up to the site of the castle and neighbouring rail station.

It also comes as the town council prepares to support an extension of Berkhamsted being subject to a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO), which gives officials further powers to confiscate alcohol.

Town clerk Janet Mason will be writing to Dacorum Borough Council – which implements the DPPOs –to highlight the number of broken bottles that have to be cleared up in the centre.

The street lights currently turn off at midnight, but it is hoped that keeping them on all night could help deter some of the problems, as well as make it easier to spot when it does happen.

Town councillor Ian Reay said: “There has been a spate of burglaries in that area as well, and some residents were becoming increasingly concerned about that.

“I spoke to the police and they said that it would be helpful if the lights were turned back on.”

Turning street lights off has saved Herts County Council a considerable amount of money, with a spokesman saying: “The changes to our street lighting policy is saving around £1million a year, as well as reducing carbon emissions and light pollution.”

A final decision will be made at the end of the three-month trial as to whether the change will be made permanent.

Do you think Berkhamsted is too dark at night, or is keeping the lights on a waste of money?

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