3 November 2011

Will turning the lights off or down reduce burglary ?

Now here is a conundrum. Cllr David Longstaff has suddenly become very interested in burglary. You need to read Mrs Angry's blog on the council meeting first for illumination and then do come back.

So Cllr Longstaff has been burgled which is a pity. Knowing what a fine actor he is the burglars probably expected to find an Oscar statuette they could purloin. What! there wasn't one, oh dear, or at least a solid gold cast of his bottom ( haven't you seen his show reel, take a look here ) but were foiled again.

I agree with Cllr Longstaff that we want safe streets. Many burglaries happen at night. They would be aided by street lights being turned off or down so Barnet Council aren't thinking of doing such a thing, are they? Oh yes they are.

£5million is to be spent on nodes to enable street lights to be turned off or down ( sorry street lighting manager but I think you might find Cllr Longstaff popping down the corridor to see you to tell you why the street lights in his road shouldn't be turned down but how its all right for everyone else. Oh, and if you value your job I wouldn't turn them down in Essex Park either - ask the snow plough man why he goes down that little side turning as a first priority even though it isn't a bus or commuter route : what's that? rules are made to be broken, especially by cabinet members; of course, we don't want taxis sliding around dangerously with precious cargo on baord, now do we? )

Here is the Delegated Powers Report about street lighting energy saving ( money saving it should say ) and also in the box below
1330 Street Lighting PFI Energy Saving

What happens when street lights are turned off.

There will be more road accidents.

There will be more burglaries.

There will be more crime of other kinds.

There is lots of information on the website of the Institute of Lighting Professionals including some downloads about bats and lighting which the Campaign for Cat Hill group probably ought to take a look at in case there is anything of help.

Street lighting is in the same category as rubbish collection & libraries. It is one of the services that residents expect and value and they notice when it isn't there and they complain.

Look what happened in Pontypool, report from the South Wales Argus.

PONTYPOOL residents claim they are being made prisoners in their own homes because of Torfaen council's controversial street light switch-off.

As the clocks are due to move back an hour, the residents of Greenhill Road, Pontypool, are determined to keep fighting Torfaen council to have their street lights turned back on, 18 months after they were left in the dark.

Resident of Greenhill Road Barbara Vaughan, 65, says she is not looking forward to the coming winter months.

She said: "I am dreading the clocks moving back as it cuts the daylight and I'm afraid to go out. They are sentencing me to a life sentence, like I'm a prisoner."

Another resident, David Bassett, explained that there were five street lights in the road, and last year four were switched off as part of Torfaen¹s decommissioning scheme. Following three break-ins in the road, one street light was subsequently switched back on, but it still leaves the middle of the busy road in darkness.

He said: "People won't even walk to the local shop, or even step outside, because of how dark it is."

Thousands of lights were switched off in Torfaen since February 2009 in a bid by the council to save money and also to reduce its carbon footprint.

By January 2011 a total of 643 written appeals were received by Torfaen council, all of which were assessed and replied to.

This was seen as a strain on resources and it was proposed in April that the appeals process be formally discontinued, but councillors rejected this.

Mr Bassett added: "To consider discontinuing the appeals process is madness - it"s like they want us silenced."

Think how many emails and letters you will receive Barnet Council if you start turning the lights off. You would probably get 643 in the first week alone.
Best just leave the lights alone?
Yours frugally

Mr Mustard 


  1. I'm sorry Mr Mustard, but I had to stop watching the show reel.

    Has anyone actually made it though the complete 5 minutes 37 seconds?

  2. At least two bloggers have Baarnett although it won't win any prizes for anything will it? I must have multi-tasked by doing soemthing else at the same time.


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