09:40 Friday 14 February 2014

Co-operation is key to tackle lighting issues

Written byROB SMYTH

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POLICE chiefs have revealed they have an ‘open discussion’ with council chiefs if streets lights turned off as part of a countywide scheme suddenly lead to a rise in crime.

Derbyshire Police confirmed to the Mail that, since Derbyshire County Council agreed plans to turn off street lights for a few hours a night to save money, the two bodies had been in regular contact in a bid to make sure the measures did not have an impact on residents.

It was also revealed that a system was in place where, if concerns were raised about crime rising due to lights being switch off, the force could approach the council and appeal to have them turned back on.

A spokesman for the force said: “We have had instances where residents have approached with concerns about certain areas.

“We will then take a look at the crimes in the area and see if it does warrant a second look at lights being switched off.

“If it does, we have a mechanism in place where we can talk to the council and discuss about the possibility of turning lights back on to prevent crime and disorder.”

Coton in the Elms, Drakelow, Linton, Lullington, Netherseal, Rosliston, Walton, Egginton, Hilton, Newton Solney, Marston on Dove, Church Broughton, Willington, Melbourne, Hatton and Newton Solney will have the part-lighting scheme introduced before the end of 2014.

Ticknall, Hartshorne, Bretby and Etwall were revealed as among 68 other locations across the county that had been chosen for the introduction of the scheme in 2012.

A spokesman for the council said: “Ongoing monitoring will take place by the police, highways safety and insurance teams to see what, if any, impact it has had on crime, antisocial behaviour, accidents and insurance claims.

“Requests can be made for the reinstallation of the full-time lighting only if the police believe that there is an unacceptable increase in crime over a six-month period, and/or there has been an unacceptable increase in accidents.”

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