A Billericay resident has started a campaign on change.org to petition Basildon Council to reverse the decision on turning off streetlights between 1am and 5am.
Melissa Shelley (a neighbourhood watch coordinator) has received numerous emails from concerned residents about the increase in crime across the town recently.
In the change.org petition Melissa outlines her concerns and why she feels the street lights should be turned back on in the early hours.
The petition reads:
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted from change.org petition"]7As a resident of Billericay I have never supported the decision to switch off the street lights between 01-00 and 05-00hrs. But what choice did we have? It was taken away from us yet we are paying the price. As well as not having personally received the savings that the Council is making due to the energy-saving, we the Billericay residents are now seeing crime on the increase. As a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator I receive regular emails and texts showing crime reported in our borough and have noticed an increase in car crime and burglary. Whilst it would be impossible to prove these crimes do in fact link to the lack of street lighting, it doesn't take a rocket-scientist to agree that the criminals are certainly aided in their crimes with the streets being plunged into darkness, thus allowing them to stalk the streets unnoticed. And with the lack of a Police Station (well, that's another petition in itself) in this ever-growing town, we really don't need to give criminals a help-in-hand. Aside from the crime, I believe every resident has a right to feel as safe as they can to walk the streets and use the highways. At the moment, and I am sure its not just women who feel like this, I feel very vulnerable walking home from the train station after the last train home. Even taking the 'safer' option of waiting for a cab feels eery as you stand in the dark in a long queue. In fact, even driving feels a little more scary. A driver cannot easily see pedestrians walking along (or should we all now don a hi-vis jacket!?) Only pedestrians using the zebra crossings can be seen (as the lights are switched on at these crossings), other than that as a driver you need to have your wits about you even more to see these people. Its putting them and the drivers at more risk... We pay our taxes and we should receive the service. Has anyone in Billericay received a rebate for the savings made to this cost-cutting exercise? Are any of us benefitting from the lights-off decision? I, for one, would like to see them switched back on for the safety and well-being of all who live here and I hope you will agree in signing this petition to take it to the Council for review and consideration. Thank you for taking the time to read this and if you do agree please make sure you 'Click To Change'.[/quote]
To sign the petition please visit the change.org web page here: https://www.change.org/p/basildon-borough-council-switch-street-lights-back-on-in-billericay-and-surrounding-areas