Nottinghamshire people feel increasingly safer after dark

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PEOPLE living in Nottinghamshire feel safer than ever after dark, according to a recent survey.

When asked the question: How safe or unsafe do you feel when outside in your local area after dark? an average of 66 per cent of respondents across Nottinghamshire said they felt safe – an increase of 17 per cebt from the last time the question was asked in 2008.

The question was part of a wider survey carried out by Nottinghamshire County Council amongst the members of its citizens’ panel.

The panel is representative of the people of Nottinghamshire and is made up of 6,000 people of different ages and backgrounds who volunteer to fill in surveys, take part in focus groups and telephone surveys and give the council and its partners their opinion about services, plans and policies.

The results come as the County Council is carrying out plans to save money by turning off and dimming streetlights across the county.

The council hopes to save £1 million every year by switching off most lights in residential areas between midnight and 5.30am. Work began on the project a year ago and will take up to four years to complete.

By switching off or dimming lights, the Council expects to save 26 per cent of the energy currently used. The cost of altering the lights will be £3.22m, meaning the project will pay for itself in just a few years.

“There’s a lot of scare-mongering going on surrounding the streetlight scheme with some people claiming – without foundation – that crime and road accidents are bound to increase,” says Coun Richard Jackson, the county council’s cabinet member for transport and highways.

“We’ve looked very carefully at other councils throughout the country who’ve already carried out similar schemes to learn from their experiences – and they have told us that collisions and crime don’t increase.

“In fact, police statistics tell us that the majority of burglaries happen during daylight hours when people are out at work, with most of them occurring between 8am and 4pm.

“We believe that it’s a simple, common-sense way to make savings of more than £1 million every year – and that’s money which can be spent on helping to keep the county’s roads and pavements in good order.”