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Plea for lights in Grantham to be switched back on at night to stop 'crime spree'

An appeal has been made for street lights to be switched back on at night in an area of Grantham which has been hit by a “crime spree”.

Lights in the Dudley Road area of the town need to be switched on at night, says Councillor Charmaine Morgan, in a bid to prevent burglaries and car crime.

Coun Morgan, district councillor for Grantham St Vincent’s ward, said residents believe the lack of street lighting is a key factor for local crime.

There has been a call for street lights in Grantham to be switched back on at night. (43216769)
There has been a call for street lights in Grantham to be switched back on at night. (43216769)

She said: “Most crimes are occurring in the early hours. Dark streets are encouraging the spate of car break-ins and cycle thefts. My residents’ sense of security is being undermined by the situation.

“Dudley Road and Cecil Street in particular are an important pedestrian route from the town centre towards Somerby Hill and used by shift workers, theatre, cinema pub goers at night – Covid-19 permitting. They are also a route for drug takers/dealers to use from The Paddock and Wyndham Park to Harrowby Road and the streets off.

“The area also has houses in multiple occupation and drug dealing has been associated with some of these properties, especially on Harrowby Road.”

Coun Morgan has asked the county council’s highways department when the street lights can be turned back on at night. Lights in many of Grantham’s streets were switched off from midnight by Lincolnshire County Council, along with lights across the county, in 2016 to save money.

The Journal recently reported on a number of shed break-ins in Dudley Road and nearby streets in which bicycles, tools and other items were stolen. Cars have also been the target for break-ins and vandalism in the area.

Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The police are best placed to deal with any spate of crimes, and reports of drug dealing and use in this area of Grantham, and I’m sure the local policing team are taking these issues very seriously. However, when it comes to the street lights, a report by Lincolnshire Police found no link between part-night lighting and any increase in crime.

“Of course, if the police or the Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership raises issues with us about increases in crime as a direct result of part-night lighting, we will work with them to address these. If they believe it is appropriate, district, town and parish councils – including South Kesteven District Council – can apply for streetlights to be converted to all night lighting for a one-off payment.

“If residents do have any issues or concerns, I’d urge them to contact their local county councillor about these. You can find your county councillor online at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/findyourcouncillor.”

Coun Morgan says she has called for a meeting with police on the issue and also on speeding, which residents fear has increased since lockdown.

She added: “I am progressing the provision of new speed signs to remind drivers they are to stick to the 30mph speed limit, or less as appropriate, and not treat our residential streets as race tracks, which some are now doing.

“ I asked the police to monitor speeding locally, this task was completed, and I anticipate feedback with their findings.”

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