Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, commissioned analysis from Essex Police so he could find out what effect part-night lighting has on crime, anti-social behaviour and the number of people killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions in Essex.
This followed a number of concerns raised at public meetings from residents from some areas.
This analysis, which is published here Part-Night-Lighting-Report-November-2017-Resource-and-Scrutiny-v.2.5 shows no evidence that turning street lights off at night causes an increase in crime, anti-social behaviour or serious injuries and deaths on the county’s roads.
The findings support previous research carried out by Essex Police as well as that of a national, independent study.
The data shows that levels of crime have increased in part-night lighting districts between the hours of 1am and 5am but that rise was in line with the increase in crime nationally. Crime levels in areas that do not have part-night lighting had also risen.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “We have not been able to identify a noticeable increase or decrease in crime or road safety issues as a result of part night lighting. When there is an operational need for the lights to stay on, for policing purposes, say for example after an incident or incidents in an area, officers can make the request to Essex County Council for the lights to go on for a period of time. This arrangement appears to be working well and is a good way of ensuring for the safety of Essex residents remains a high priority.
“I have heard that many people feel say they feel safer when the lights are on but councils need to take decisions on hard evidence and the data shows no overall impact on crime or road safety of lights being turned off at night.”
He added: “I will continue to review any potential impact of part night lighting on crime levels through my regular performance and resources board meetings with the Chief Constable and his team.”
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