Anger as poor lighting in Burnley street gives cover for crime
3:01pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
TRADERS have offered to pay for CCTV to catch criminals making their lives a misery – but the cameras won’t work as it’s too dark.
Business bosses in Anglesey Avenue, Burnley, have been told the new cameras would be ineffective due to poor street lighting.
Resident Constance Hunt, 80, said there have been problems with anti-social behaviour, and the poor lighting leaves her feeling vulnerable.
She said: “I’d feel more able to come to the shop if the lighting was better. I get frightened being alone at my age.”
Owais Iqbal, 23, manager of the Life Style Express shop in Anglesey Avenue said he is making improvements to his shop, and would be willing to pay for new security cameras for the square.
He said: “It’s very dark around here, the cameras don’t work at night-time.
“I would pay for better cameras, but there’s no point, it’s too dark.
“We’re getting a new cash machine so we need better lighting for the safety of residents.”
The county council recently announced a two per cent reduction in council tax, but residents said they would prefer to pay the same amount of tax and have good quality lighting.
Coun Betsy Stringer, who represents the Gannow ward, raised the issue with the county council. She said: “It angers me that Lancashire County Council is decreasing council tax by two per cent when these people want street lighting, and now the council is saying there’s no money.”
Alan Capstick, highways manager at the county council said: “We’ve visited Anglesey Avenue to inspect the street lighting in response to residents’ concerns and found that the lighting is largely acceptable although levels are lower on one side of the square than the other.
“The lights on Anglesey Avenue were upgraded in February 2011 to a higher wattage. We can't meet requests to replace them with LED lamps as the lighting columns are not capable of taking these fittings.”
The issue was first brought to the attention of councillors by Calico Housing’s neighbourhood officer Kathryn Davies, who has been working with local PCSOs.
A spokesman for Calico said: “We would like to work closely with the council to come up with a reasonable solution.”
Calico Housing and the police have been conducting extra joint patrols and visiting parents.
According to Home Office figures, there were 11 anti-social behaviour incidents in January, compared to one in December.