Crime spike as lights are switched off

24. června 2013 v 5:37 |  LED downlight
A money-saving initiative to dim or switch off street lights has been blamed on a spike in crime.

East Sussex County Council wants to save 885,000 over three years by reducing energy, maintenance costs and light pollution.

But a residents group said the new regime had led to more burglaries and car crime.

Christine Bowman, of Telscombe Residents' Association, said: "We have experienced some petty crime, such as damage to cars, and we've put it down to people having the opportunity to get away with it in the dark. There have also been various burglaries and break-ins."

The new lights are set to be installed in Eastbourne this year and Hasting next year. Dick Edwards, of Hasting Residents' Association, said: "In many places street lighting is already inadequate and doesn't meet minimum standards."

"There is the question of security and safety and I think turning the lights down would be strongly opposed."

Godfrey Daniel, Labour county councillor for Hastings, said: "The important thing is that the county council takes on board peoples' concerns."

The council said LED lighting was a viable alternative.

Rupert Clubb, director of economy, transport and environment, said: "We have been forced to make very difficult decisions in order to make significant savings. All changes to street lighting have been carried out in consultation with Sussex Police to ensure that, while we achieve the necessary savings, our county remains a safe place to live and work."

But police blamed unsecure homes and cars for recent crime in Peacehaven and Telscombe - not changes to street lighting.

Sergeant Jenny Abura said: "A number of cars and houses which have been broken into were insecure so we are asking people to double-check their security. "

We have recently arrested a number of people for various offences.

"One recent success was charging a 46-year-old man with two counts of burglary. The number of reported crimes in the district has reduced by 8 per cent in the last year."

The steps they had built, though, are wide and so prominent that they create a focal point for the yard. They also break up the otherwise continuous horizonal lines of the walls.

At the top, they, too, built a gate. Theirs is black metal, flanked by brick and stone pillars that are inset with glass blocks that light up at night.

"At night it's a whole different look out here," Rich Gulasy said.

The lagoon-style, 20,000-galloon pool was installed last fall. It has multi-colored LED lights that illuminate the water at night.

The yard has numerous seating areas - one atop the first tier of the retaining wall and others all around the back of the house. Among the furnishings are a grill built into a rock wall and a "fire table" - a table with a fire element in the middle.

The Gulasys moved to their property in 2009, and the yard is finally finished - just in time for daughter Christine's high school graduation party this spring. Life events have a way of moving projects along. Read the full story at www.indoorlite.com web.
 

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