Share

Clear spells

Fri

23°C | 14°C

Light showers

Sat

22°C | 13°C

Mostly clear

Sun

23°C | 12°C

Home   Kent   News   Article

Kent County Council streetlights switch-off to be reviewed in areas of concern about increased crime

28 April 2014
by Paul Francis
The politician in charge of Kent’s street light switch-off has promised the county council will take a second look at areas where there are valid concerns about increased crime and safety.
 
It comes as the county council faced a claim thieves got away from the police in an incident in Ashford because officers could not find the suspects in the dark.
 
At the same time, research has found that in 2011-12, 324 more people were killed or seriously injured in crashes at night in the UK where street lights were switched off than the previous year.
 
Kent County Council are switching off street lights in a bid to save cash

Kent County Council are switching off street lights in a bid to save cash

 
Cllr David Brazier (Con), the cabinet member for roads at KCC, was confronted by claims from county councillors this week that the switch-off had sparked complaints from residents about safety and crime.
 
But he downplayed concerns about rising crime, telling a meeting of KCC’s backbench transport cabinet committee that most burglaries took place during the day.
 
“It [crime] is a very real fear and we do understand that but it is not borne out by the evidence. We do intend to review and if crime does increase, we will consider what action to take.” 
“It [crime] is a very real fear and we do understand that but it is not borne out by the evidence. We do intend to review and if crime does increase, we will consider what action to take" - Cllr David Brazier 
 
The council had consulted with Kent Police and where it had voiced reservations, the planned switch off had been scrapped, he added.
 
Gravesham county councillor Colin Caller (Lab) said KCC should have listened more closely to residents’ concerns before the switch off.
 
“I accept the purpose and the need to save money. However, I am concerned why we relied on just Kent Police and did not go out and find some local information.”
 
He added: “There are some areas where there is still full lighting and others where there is a total blackout.”
 
Under the programme, KCC is switching off 2,500 surplus street lights on a trial basis for a year.
 
It is also converting 70,000 street lights to part-night operation. The changes will reduce annual energy costs by about £1 million and carbon emissions by 5,000 tonnes.


Stories you might have missed

Hit-and-run driver leaves teenage biker 'for dead'

Cockroach invasion 'worst food inspector has ever seen'

Fancy a boxer chocolates, Bruiser

Sporty beauty in running for Miss England title


 

Click here for more news from Kent.

Click here for more news from around the county.

Comments 

Forgotten Password?

Forgotten Username?

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments.
Please click here for our house rules.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.