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No link between crime and blackout in Dorset
9:58am Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
CRIME generally isn’t going up in blacked out parts of Dorset, police say.
Dorset Police have announced that early research shows no link to increases in crime as a result of lights being switched off in selected areas.
In the Bridport area street lights are being switched on some roads between 1am and 6.30am in the summer and midnight to 5.30am in winter.
The county council agreed to a programme of part-night street lighting as part of its plans to save £55m over three years.
It was first trialled in rural villages before it was decided in February 2011 to roll it out to residential streets.
Deputy Chief Constable of Dorset Police James Vaughan said: “We take the concerns of our communities very seriously.
We have worked together with Dorset County Council to closely monitor the areas where street lights have been switched off in case of any changes in crime levels.
“I’m pleased to say that we have found there has been no link to an increase in crime, which I hope will offer some reassurance to residents.
“We do understand that people can feel less safe when street lights are off.
“Dorset County Council has agreed to reconsider street lighting in cases where crime is seen to increase or where there are local crime and disorder issues that need particular focus.”
Hilary Cox, Dorset County Council’s cabinet member for environment, added: “We welcome the evidence from the police about our part-night lighting programme.
"It is reassuring that the scheme, which does make savings, has not caused an increase in crime. The scheme has been strongly supported by those who want to reduce light pollution.”