Residents claim the turn out of street lights in Dorset has led to a rise in crime

CONCERNS: A car and caravan targeted by arsonists in Littlemoor

CONCERNS: A car and caravan targeted by arsonists in Littlemoor

First published in News by

RESIDENTS claim that a decision to turn out street lights has led to a rise in crime.

A warning was issued about criminals on the prowl after street lights were switched off in Dorset.

Councillor Les Ames told Dorset County Council’s environment overview committee that residents had raised concerns about burglars and car thieves.

His comments came as a 74-strong signature was handed into the committee from residents in the Bedford Road and Hereford Road area of Weymouth against street lights being turned off at night.

The warning comes just days after residents and councillors renewed calls for street lights in Littlemoor to be turned back on after an arson attack on a car in Geelong Close.

The county council has decided to switch off nearly all of its 20,000 street lights in residential roads between 1.30am and 6.30am to help save £150,000 from its street lighting budget.

Coun Ames, who represents the Portland Tophill ward, said that people in his area were suffering.

“Recently, we have had a number of incidents, according to residents, caused by the lack of lighting.

“There are a number of lanes in my area and I am told that people have been waiting in these dark areas and attempting to get in back doors. Cars have been damaged and broken into.”

He added: “It appears that it is getting quite serious.”

Under the scheme, full lighting was left on in town centres, high crime areas, busy roads, highly pedestrianised areas, roads with such features as humps and roundabouts.

Coun Ames said that police had told him that it was difficult to protect people with the street lights off.

The county councils’ environment overview committee agreed to note the petition and send a reply that the lighting for the area met the council’s policy.

Arsonists Destroy Vehicles On Town Estate

AN arson attack in Littlemoor has sparked calls to turn street lighting back on at night.

Arsonists torched a silver Audi early hours of Saturday. The blaze quickly spread to a caravan parked nearby.

Littlemoor councillors Andy Cooke and Rachel Rogers echoed calls from residents to bring back the lighting.

County councillor Mr Cooke said it had been a ‘mistake’ to turn a lot of the lights out and borough councillor Mrs Rogers said that the lights out policy was ‘contributing to more fear of crime in Littlemoor and beyond.’ Switching off street lighting in Littlemoor and other areas from the early hours to early morning is part of a county council plan to save £55m over three years.

In response to the decision, members of the Littlemoor Community Action Group launched a petition in June to get them switched back on, which will be presented to Dorset County Council.

They said they fear that with no lighting after midnight, crime will increase on the estate.

Comments (24)

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10:35am Thu 4 Oct 12

Crimbo says...

Streetlights? What are they? We don't have any in our bit of Dorset - and we don't have any crime worth mentioning either...

It's people that cause crime, not the lack of street lights!
Streetlights? What are they? We don't have any in our bit of Dorset - and we don't have any crime worth mentioning either... It's people that cause crime, not the lack of street lights! Crimbo
  • Score: 0

10:59am Thu 4 Oct 12

annotator1 says...

I can see a different angle on this subject. The council expects to save £150k per annum by turning out the lamps. If it can be proved that the lack of street lighting is a direct cause of the arson attacks and extra crime, the insurance companies that are now paying for the restoration of damaged articles will have a good case for not paying out anymore. Maybe the cost of the crimes are around £150k ... therefore shifting the onus from the council to the insurance companies and for those who are not insured the public ... who knows!

It strikes me that anything, however poorly thought out to save a few quid, will do!
I can see a different angle on this subject. The council expects to save £150k per annum by turning out the lamps. If it can be proved that the lack of street lighting is a direct cause of the arson attacks and extra crime, the insurance companies that are now paying for the restoration of damaged articles will have a good case for not paying out anymore. Maybe the cost of the crimes are around £150k ... therefore shifting the onus from the council to the insurance companies and for those who are not insured the public ... who knows! It strikes me that anything, however poorly thought out to save a few quid, will do! annotator1
  • Score: 0

11:30am Thu 4 Oct 12

maximan says...

Perhaps the reason for high crime in Littlemoor may lay a lot deeper than the lights being out. These incidents could have and probably would have still occured with the lighting on. Inadequate policing and weak sentencing has allowed for feral street yob culture to develop on most estates in the UK.
Perhaps the reason for high crime in Littlemoor may lay a lot deeper than the lights being out. These incidents could have and probably would have still occured with the lighting on. Inadequate policing and weak sentencing has allowed for feral street yob culture to develop on most estates in the UK. maximan
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Thu 4 Oct 12

cj07589 says...

Yeap I'm with the above comments, its a minority of unhinged disgusting excuse for human being scum bags that are the cause not the lack of street lighting at night. However that said, i wouldnt like to walk through anywhere in Littlemoor at any time of the day for that matter. I feel sorry for the poor local residents who have to put up with this, i wager good money they have a good idea who is responsible but are too scared to get involved for very good reasons.
Yeap I'm with the above comments, its a minority of unhinged disgusting excuse for human being scum bags that are the cause not the lack of street lighting at night. However that said, i wouldnt like to walk through anywhere in Littlemoor at any time of the day for that matter. I feel sorry for the poor local residents who have to put up with this, i wager good money they have a good idea who is responsible but are too scared to get involved for very good reasons. cj07589
  • Score: 0

12:15pm Thu 4 Oct 12

DucksQuack says...

I was walking home at 01:30 the other day, the street lights went out.

I didn't feel any urges to commit a crime. I enjoyed the stars for the rest of my walk.

The issue is deeper than street lights, I applaud the scheme to turn them off and save money.
I was walking home at 01:30 the other day, the street lights went out. I didn't feel any urges to commit a crime. I enjoyed the stars for the rest of my walk. The issue is deeper than street lights, I applaud the scheme to turn them off and save money. DucksQuack
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Thu 4 Oct 12

marabout says...

If it costs £150,000 to turn the lights on and there are 74 people who want the lights turned on then increaese their council tax by £2027 each. Sorted.
If it costs £150,000 to turn the lights on and there are 74 people who want the lights turned on then increaese their council tax by £2027 each. Sorted. marabout
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Thu 4 Oct 12

Big Marv says...

Got to admit, I was worried when it was first announced, but I am happy that the street lights get turned off at night. Maybe the £150,000 could be spent on more Police patrolling the troubled estates at night?
Maybe if the courts had less red tape to deal with, sentencing those who break the law could be done quicker too. Ho hum.
Got to admit, I was worried when it was first announced, but I am happy that the street lights get turned off at night. Maybe the £150,000 could be spent on more Police patrolling the troubled estates at night? Maybe if the courts had less red tape to deal with, sentencing those who break the law could be done quicker too. Ho hum. Big Marv
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Thu 4 Oct 12

Micke12 says...

When this was first introduced, we all said that crime would go up, but not one councillor listened to us, the people, and now crime has gone up, they will not accept liability for their stupid actions. When will councils in Dorset start listening to the residents and the local police officers, who have to face the consequences of these councils actions. My view is that all councils in West Dorset are ****.
When this was first introduced, we all said that crime would go up, but not one councillor listened to us, the people, and now crime has gone up, they will not accept liability for their stupid actions. When will councils in Dorset start listening to the residents and the local police officers, who have to face the consequences of these councils actions. My view is that all councils in West Dorset are ****. Micke12
  • Score: 0

1:41pm Thu 4 Oct 12

scubadude says...

So we must be an exception- research WORLDWIDE into crime shows a reduction when the streetlighting is turned off- crooks need light to see, if its dark they need torches and look like crooks! People need to accept that the crime has nothing to do with the lighting, there has been no increase in Weymouth and our lights get turned off overnight- I wish they'd turn them off earlier actually- it makes the traffic slower and pedestrians more careful crossing the street- again backed by worldwide research. So Littlemoor has an issue with anti-social behaviour- that isn't news!
So we must be an exception- research WORLDWIDE into crime shows a reduction when the streetlighting is turned off- crooks need light to see, if its dark they need torches and look like crooks! People need to accept that the crime has nothing to do with the lighting, there has been no increase in Weymouth and our lights get turned off overnight- I wish they'd turn them off earlier actually- it makes the traffic slower and pedestrians more careful crossing the street- again backed by worldwide research. So Littlemoor has an issue with anti-social behaviour- that isn't news! scubadude
  • Score: 0

2:02pm Thu 4 Oct 12

mark@greenhill says...

Looks to me, to be a typical photograph from the Littlemoor estate.

Lights or no lights, the local feral pikeys will still cause mayhem.

Until the do gooders that influence the judges & the CPS get kicked out, & we get some genuine sentencing in the courts, this sort of thing will continue.

Nobody caused arson on the estate from a prison cell?
Looks to me, to be a typical photograph from the Littlemoor estate. Lights or no lights, the local feral pikeys will still cause mayhem. Until the do gooders that influence the judges & the CPS get kicked out, & we get some genuine sentencing in the courts, this sort of thing will continue. Nobody caused arson on the estate from a prison cell? mark@greenhill
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Thu 4 Oct 12

bnaty12 says...

If only people spent a few quid on PIR's and CCTV outside their houses it would help with these sorts of incidents so much. When they switch them off here I have no problems here so far and my gear has been useful in dealing with an anti-social tenant already.
If only people spent a few quid on PIR's and CCTV outside their houses it would help with these sorts of incidents so much. When they switch them off here I have no problems here so far and my gear has been useful in dealing with an anti-social tenant already. bnaty12
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Thu 4 Oct 12

bnaty12 says...

scubadude wrote:
So we must be an exception- research WORLDWIDE into crime shows a reduction when the streetlighting is turned off- crooks need light to see, if its dark they need torches and look like crooks! People need to accept that the crime has nothing to do with the lighting, there has been no increase in Weymouth and our lights get turned off overnight- I wish they'd turn them off earlier actually- it makes the traffic slower and pedestrians more careful crossing the street- again backed by worldwide research. So Littlemoor has an issue with anti-social behaviour- that isn't news!
Very correct on all points. Not to mention reducing light pollution that ruins the view of the night sky.
[quote][p][bold]scubadude[/bold] wrote: So we must be an exception- research WORLDWIDE into crime shows a reduction when the streetlighting is turned off- crooks need light to see, if its dark they need torches and look like crooks! People need to accept that the crime has nothing to do with the lighting, there has been no increase in Weymouth and our lights get turned off overnight- I wish they'd turn them off earlier actually- it makes the traffic slower and pedestrians more careful crossing the street- again backed by worldwide research. So Littlemoor has an issue with anti-social behaviour- that isn't news![/p][/quote]Very correct on all points. Not to mention reducing light pollution that ruins the view of the night sky. bnaty12
  • Score: 0

3:33pm Thu 4 Oct 12

bootedsw says...

A radical thought turn them all off all the time, install a PIR sensor on every other one and then turn them on when needed by tripping a sensor. Spend now to save in the future.
A radical thought turn them all off all the time, install a PIR sensor on every other one and then turn them on when needed by tripping a sensor. Spend now to save in the future. bootedsw
  • Score: 0

4:27pm Thu 4 Oct 12

JelliedEel says...

I should think most crims use night vision goggles bought from flea bay and no longer creep around in black and white striped jumpers armed with a swag bag and high power torch. They probably welcome the lights being switched off.
I should think most crims use night vision goggles bought from flea bay and no longer creep around in black and white striped jumpers armed with a swag bag and high power torch. They probably welcome the lights being switched off. JelliedEel
  • Score: 0

5:55pm Thu 4 Oct 12

maximan says...

JelliedEel wrote:
I should think most crims use night vision goggles bought from flea bay and no longer creep around in black and white striped jumpers armed with a swag bag and high power torch. They probably welcome the lights being switched off.
Most criminals are low IQ drug addled opportunists not the sophisticated Raffles type your mind is conjuring up.....and if they were, would they be casing joints in Littlemoor?
[quote][p][bold]JelliedEel[/bold] wrote: I should think most crims use night vision goggles bought from flea bay and no longer creep around in black and white striped jumpers armed with a swag bag and high power torch. They probably welcome the lights being switched off.[/p][/quote]Most criminals are low IQ drug addled opportunists not the sophisticated Raffles type your mind is conjuring up.....and if they were, would they be casing joints in Littlemoor? maximan
  • Score: 0

7:16pm Thu 4 Oct 12

websitedesigner says...

I live in an area of Dorset and the closest street light is 3.9 miles away. There are no crimes here. Surely the dark is preventing people from hanging around in dark areas. I personally think this is stupid and now the public have someone and something to put the blame on easily. These crimes would have still taken place.
I live in an area of Dorset and the closest street light is 3.9 miles away. There are no crimes here. Surely the dark is preventing people from hanging around in dark areas. I personally think this is stupid and now the public have someone and something to put the blame on easily. These crimes would have still taken place. websitedesigner
  • Score: 0

10:23am Fri 5 Oct 12

Caption Sensible says...

So everyone with a torch is a potential crook then?

I have paid for these lights. I accept that an urban area needs lighting. If I wanted complete darkness I would live in the country.

I despise getting up at 6 o'clock, then leaving home in complete darkness.

How long before someone is seriously injured?

Put the lights back on! Councillors do as you are told, you are public servants, uphold your Oath of Office. You are committing fraud by taking money and then not providing the service it is meant for.
So everyone with a torch is a potential crook then? I have paid for these lights. I accept that an urban area needs lighting. If I wanted complete darkness I would live in the country. I despise getting up at 6 o'clock, then leaving home in complete darkness. How long before someone is seriously injured? Put the lights back on! Councillors do as you are told, you are public servants, uphold your Oath of Office. You are committing fraud by taking money and then not providing the service it is meant for. Caption Sensible
  • Score: 0

10:49am Fri 5 Oct 12

marabout says...

So everyone with a torch is a NOT a potential crook then?

I have paid for these lights. I accept that an urban area DOES NOT need lighting. If I wanted complete darkness I would live in the country.(where they also pay the same amouth as me)

I despise getting up at 6 o'clock, then leaving home in complete darkness. (errr ???)

It will be a long time before someone is seriously injured?

Keep the lights off. Councillors do as you are told, you are public servants, uphold your Oath of Office. You are committing fraud by taking money and then not providing the service it is meant for. Save money and save energy by keeping the lights off.
So everyone with a torch is a NOT a potential crook then? I have paid for these lights. I accept that an urban area DOES NOT need lighting. If I wanted complete darkness I would live in the country.(where they also pay the same amouth as me) I despise getting up at 6 o'clock, then leaving home in complete darkness. (errr ???) It will be a long time before someone is seriously injured? Keep the lights off. Councillors do as you are told, you are public servants, uphold your Oath of Office. You are committing fraud by taking money and then not providing the service it is meant for. Save money and save energy by keeping the lights off. marabout
  • Score: 0

10:51am Fri 5 Oct 12

marabout says...

You are committing fraud by taking money and then not providing the service it is meant for.


fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain


Not really fraud is it ???
You are committing fraud by taking money and then not providing the service it is meant for. fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain Not really fraud is it ??? marabout
  • Score: 0

9:40pm Fri 5 Oct 12

Caption Sensible says...

marabout wrote:
You are committing fraud by taking money and then not providing the service it is meant for. fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain Not really fraud is it ???
Maybe 'theft' would be a better description.

Because you see, and I quote:

"In a general sense, a tax is any contribution imposed by government upon individuals, for the use and service of the state, whether under the name of toll, tribute, tallage, gabel, impost, duty, custom, excise, subsidy, aid, supply, or other name". Ref. Black's Law Dictionary.

What other 'services', for which our taxes pay for, will now be lined up for removal, now that the precedent has been set? And without a commensurate reduction in taxation, in line with the supposed savings?
[quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: You are committing fraud by taking money and then not providing the service it is meant for. fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain Not really fraud is it ???[/p][/quote]Maybe 'theft' would be a better description. Because you see, and I quote: "In a general sense, a tax is any contribution imposed by government upon individuals, for the use and service of the state, whether under the name of toll, tribute, tallage, gabel, impost, duty, custom, excise, subsidy, aid, supply, or other name". Ref. Black's Law Dictionary. What other 'services', for which our taxes pay for, will now be lined up for removal, now that the precedent has been set? And without a commensurate reduction in taxation, in line with the supposed savings? Caption Sensible
  • Score: 0

6:02am Mon 8 Oct 12

kwhat says...

Why should we pay extra to put lights outside our house when we pay for the streetlights out of our taxs. Think the council are asleep on this one! Wake up we are all being victims of crime here with no lights on at night!
Why should we pay extra to put lights outside our house when we pay for the streetlights out of our taxs. Think the council are asleep on this one! Wake up we are all being victims of crime here with no lights on at night! kwhat
  • Score: 0

1:25pm Tue 9 Oct 12

isitonlyme says...

I just find part of the reasoning behind turning out the lights slighly ambiguous. "Cost savings and carbon efficiency"! One way to reduce carbon emissions is to revert all the traffic lights back to roundabouts. Has this not been taken into consideration? Also, turn off the lights on the "stones on sticks". Nobody local looks at them, holiday season has ended and they absolutely blind you driving up Littlemoor Road - very distracting
I just find part of the reasoning behind turning out the lights slighly ambiguous. "Cost savings and carbon efficiency"! One way to reduce carbon emissions is to revert all the traffic lights back to roundabouts. Has this not been taken into consideration? Also, turn off the lights on the "stones on sticks". Nobody local looks at them, holiday season has ended and they absolutely blind you driving up Littlemoor Road - very distracting isitonlyme
  • Score: 0

3:34pm Tue 9 Oct 12

lostnfound says...

isitonlyme
I phoned DCC about the dazzling lights on the rox on stix about a fortnight ago and nothing appears to have happened - but then they are busy planning the unwanted changes to Preston Road. Perhaps you and others could phone and complain about the dazzle?
isitonlyme I phoned DCC about the dazzling lights on the rox on stix about a fortnight ago and nothing appears to have happened - but then they are busy planning the unwanted changes to Preston Road. Perhaps you and others could phone and complain about the dazzle? lostnfound
  • Score: 0

10:31am Wed 10 Oct 12

Under35andout says...

no street lighting = crime
if i was wanting to knick a car id go littlemoor ;p;
no street lighting = crime if i was wanting to knick a car id go littlemoor ;p; Under35andout
  • Score: 0

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