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Street Lighting


Concerned about street lights being switched off at night?

Chief Constable Andy BLISS 1 - Chief ConstableWe want to reassure residents and businesses across Hertfordshire that crime across the county continues to fall and the Constabulary has one of the best detection rates of any police force in the country.

Chief Constable Andy Bliss said:


Quote (Open)We recognise Hertfordshire County Council’s need to make cost savings at a time of national budgetary restraints.  It is perfectly understandable, however, that its street light programme may cause people to question their safety and security, but we have seen no evidence that reduced street lighting results in crime increases.

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Since the start of the county council’s roll out there has been no increase in incidents or any change in crime patterns that might relate to street lights being switched off between midnight and 6am.


Crime report and crime patterns

A report commissioned by the Police Authority in the Spring (March 2012) concluded that ‘there is no discernible evidence that crime has increased by the strategy to reduce street lighting between midnight and 6am.’


Crime has continued to fall across the whole of Hertfordshire during 2011/12 and the Constabulary continues to monitor crime on a daily basis, adjusting patrol patterns and using policing and crime reduction techniques in reaction to incidents as required and as appropriate.

It should be remembered that the majority of the county has never had any street lighting (for example, most of the county’s rural areas) and crime is no more prevalent in these places.

In addition, many types of crime do not relate in any way to street lighting, for example, alcohol-fuelled disorder, domestic abuse, fraud, drug offences, shop lifting. And some crimes can be, in fact, more prevalent during daytime hours – for example, household burglary. We know that burglars generally want to avoid confrontation so will target homes that are empty during the daytime when occupants are away or at work.

Crime prevention advice

Most crime, in which something is stolen from a person or building, is opportunistic -  an item of value is left or placed in a position that makes it a target to criminals. For example, sat navs, lap top computers or power tools left in vehicles; mobile phones or bags on a bar or on a table in cafes.  Street lighting is not generally considered an influencing factor and you can reduce your risk of becoming a victim of acquisitive crime by following our normal crime prevention advice - visit our crime prevention section


Police are working with the county council to monitor crime and incident rates and it has been agreed that street lighting can be switched back on in specific locations, should evidence suggest this is necessary to prevent crime or promote security. 


Policing the county


Chief Constable Andy Bliss said:


Quote (Open)Police officers will be working 366 days and nights this year and, as part of my programme to get more officers out on foot and bike patrol, they will be actively patrolling both lit and unlit areas across the county, with their standard equipment which includes a torch, every night in order to keep crime levels as low as possible.

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If you need to report a crime or anti-social behaviour, please call police on Telephone 101 and if the incident is happening now you should use Telephone 999.


If you have a query about any technical aspects of part-night lighting please see the link below for background and frequently asked questions:

Web Link http://www.hertsdirect.org/services/transtreets/highways/streetlightenergy/changestlightatnight/


Converting most of the county's streetlights to part-night operation is a county council policy decision.  A review of the policy will be undertaken  next year.  If you wish to express a view please contact Stuart Pile, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, or your local county councillor:

Web Link http://www.hertsdirect.org/your-council