Residents in Skegness are being urged to join a campaign to get lights switched back on overnight after it was found there has been a slight rise in crime.
Police maintain there is no evidence to suggest that the initiative introduced by Lincolnshire County Council has caused the four per cent increase, but Skegness Mayor Coun Danny Brookes remains unconvinced.
A petition to get the lights switched on, which he started before be became Mayor, now has 6,000 signatures and he’s hoping residents will attend next week’s Skegness Town Council meeting to give support.
Initial findings, which were announced by Lincolnshire Police on Monday, are that there is no evidence to suggest that the initiative introduced by Lincolnshire County Council has caused an increase in overnight crime.
The report compares crime levels from before the council introduced part-night lighting to now that 42,000 street lights have been switched off between the hours of 12pm and 6am.
Crimes considered in the report included burglaries, violence, robberies, vehicle offences and cases of criminal damage in the areas affected by the changes.
Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West said: “Our findings so far are that there has been a slight increase in these overnight crimes. This is not surprising as we are experiencing more calls than ever before and overall crime in Lincolnshire has increased, as it has nationally. Crime is up by four per cent in our county and the national average stands at an 11 per cent rise.
“At present we believe there is no link between the introduction of part-night lighting and levels of crime.
“We will continue to monitor crime levels, and if our analysis highlights any concerns at any time we will speak with the council.
“I fully understand that when part-night lighting was introduced residents were concerned about their safety. Lincolnshire is an incredibly safe place to live and rest assured we are fully committed to making sure you are safe day and night.”
The announcement came as police appealed for witness to a rise in transit van crime, which was pointed out by Coun Brookes.
Officers in Skegness were advising owners of vans to remove all tools and belongings from their vehicles if they are leaving them unattended.
Coun Brookes said: “We are told the rise in crime is not linked to the lights being switch off - but it might be.
“People in villages say they have never had overnight lighting, but they do not have our nightlife and a population of 22,000 rising to 100,000 in the summer.
“Whatever the statistics are, people are living in fear and that is outrageous. We need the public to show their support so the Town Council can take action.”
If anyone witnesses anything suspicious, they are asked to contact 101. Skegness Town Council next meets on December 6 at 7pm.