‘Crime not up’ says report on street lights

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CRIME levels have not increased due to street lights being switched off at night, says a new police report.

Hertfordshire County Council has introduced a part-night street lighting policy to save money, with around 80 per cent of street lights in the county being switched off from midnight to 6am.

The county’s police authority requested a report to investigate whether crime levels had been affected across the county as a result of the big switch-off.

Now the conclusion of the report, presented to the authority, has indicated that there is no evidence that crime levels have been affected.

The chair of the authority’s scrutiny committee Sue Warman said: “It is important that we listen to concerns expressed by the public, when they feel they are at risk of crime, which is why we asked the constabulary to provide this report.

“I am pleased that the analysis has shown that there is no correlation between crime levels and changes to street lighting and trust that this finding provides reassurance to the public.

“In fact, Hertfordshire has seen an overall reduction in crime levels of over six per cent compared to the same period last year.

“However, we are never complacent and will continue to monitor trends, to ensure that crime continues to reduce and that communities feel safe.”

Many people had expressed concern that crime would increase with a street light switch-off, and police had previously issued a message of reassurance.

Herts police will now feel vindicated in its previous claims with the release of the new report.

The county council is planning to carry out a full review of the part night lighting changes in the middle of next year.