Surrey’s decision to turn off the streetlights on most roads between midnight and 5 a.m. has been very controversial. The Parish Council has objected to this policy from the outset and has written to Surrey asking for the lights to be kept on due to concerns that darkness facilitates crime, causes an increased fear of crime and makes accidents more likely.
In its letter it asked that, if the County wasn’t prepared to keep the lights on all night, it at least extended them till 1 a.m. or kept a proportion of lights on in each road. It has also enquired if the Parish could pay for the lights to be kept on in Warlingham.
Surrey has now responded stating that it cannot afford to change its policy, given the substantial savings it has to make as a result of the cutting of Government funding, and that the evidence shows no increase in crime due to the overnight turn off. It states that it will keep the lights on in specific streets where the Police or its Road Safety team recommend this. It has also advised it is not practical for parishes to pay for their own lighting.
The Parish Council has specifically requested that the lights be kept on in Mint Walk due to the anti-social behaviour experienced there, and is writing to the Police for their support on this. A response is awaited.