This site has been set up with a view to providing Surrey Residents with as much information as possible regarding the increase of crime following Surrey CC's decision to turn off our street lights between midnight and 5am.
We also need your help to force Surrey CC reverse their decision.
We believe that Surrey CC has put savings before public safety and in doing so the are putting Surrey Residents at risk.
Please support us by signing our petition and joining our Facebook Group.
Surrey Street Lights Campaign Press Release 15th February 2018
The campaign to get all of Surrey's street lights turned back on continues and is very close to answering the question, "has SCC caused a huge crime wave?"
Campaign organisers John Lazenby and statistician Paul Steynberg met with Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro on February 2nd to discuss police statistics, the overall 16% rise in crime across the county and to agree a way forward.
During the meeting former Surrey Conservative County Councillor Mr Munro confirmed that acquisitive crime such as house burglary, vehicle theft, garage burglary, tool theft in Surrey has increased significantly however he would not confirm that this is as a direct result of the street lights being turned off saying that there is no evidence to prove this claim.
Mr Lazenby said "The campaign proved mid 2017 by using official police statistics that acquisitive crime has significantly risen since the very day that SCC turned the lights off in January 2017 and that it is continuing to increase. After many months of extensive work Mr Steinberg has managed to gather 5 years of publicly available crime data from the police and has put together a very clear picture of Surrey crime at street level using the last 5 years as a sample. The data confirms that prior to 2017 crime was rising annually at a rate of around 2%.
The data now clearly pinpoints and maps exactly where each crime was committed, i.e on which street and on which date. He has compiled a clear comparison of acquisitive crime committed across Surrey in 2016 and 2017. It shows an overall increase of 16% in 2017. See the graph and data for full information broken down by district.
However in order to complete the picture and prove 100% that these crimes are street lights related Mr Steynberg has asked Surrey Police to provide details of the times at which crimes were committed. He has submitted 4 separate Freedom of Information requests. All 4 have been left open for the maximum time frame of 20 days and then declined.
When Mr Steynberg asked Surrey Police why his requests were being declined they could not offer a sensible or reasonable answer.
Surrey Police have accused Mr Steynberg of being vexatious and they now appear to be warning him not to pursue the matter any further. We fully respect Surrey Police and think that the force overall is doing a fantastic job. We are however extremely concerned that this information is being withheld. The times are the very final piece of the puzzle. If we had the times at which crimes were committed we could say whether the current crime wave is 100% street lights related or not. This could inevitably lead to SCC turning the lights back on".
Mr Munro did advise that members of the public should follow the official route and report concerns re crime by street to SCC. Mr Lazenby and Mr Steynberg agreed to help promote this.
To make this process easier for the public Mr Steynberg has created a database where members of the public can check crime levels on individual streets and a report form to send to SCC. These can be found at www.surreylights.uk/Street_by_Street_Crime_Stats.php
The campaign organisers encourage anyone who feels that crime has increased to follow this process.
As part of the campaigns investigations Mr Lazenby was contacted by a serving police officer and an ex police officer both of whom advised that the police statistics were not wholly accurate.
The example that they both gave was attempted burglary. They advised that attempted burglary is now being recorded statistically as criminal damage and as such the figures for attempted burglary were down significantly and criminal damage statistics were significantly up in 2017.
Mr Lazenby did question Mr Munro re this matter. He chose not to answer the question however did not deny that this was happening.
In a separate incident in January 2018 Mr Munro was ordered to apologise to a Surrey resident for his rude responses to emails. The resident complained to the Surrey Police and Crime Panel following which he received a written apology from Mr Munro.
The campaign was covered by BBC London News on Sunday 11th February. This has given the campaign a wider audience and has encouraged more people to search for and sign the petition. The BBC advised that Surrey County Council had refused to comment on the matter.
The campaign organisers want to encourage the public to report ALL crimes to the police even if they feel that the police might not attend.
The campaign organisers are now in the process of arranging a meeting with Surrey Chief Constable Nick Ephgrave. They have been advised that he is a statistics expert and therefore the best person to discuss their findings with. Conservative Councillors Beverley Connolly and Cameron McIntosh have offered to attend the meeting to demonstrate their support for the campaign.
Mr Lazenby has a number of Councillors from all parties who are keen to meet with Cllr Hodge to show their disapproval of the SCC part night lighting scheme. As such Mr Lazenby has made several requests for a meeting with SCC Leader David Hodge. All of his requests have been ignored.
Cllr Hodge has now also advised Mr Lazenby that he will not be acknowledging any of his emails and that they will be kept on file in city hall.
Mr Lazenby this week received a similarly worded email from Mr Munro who advised that he has nothing more to add re the matter.
As such many of the 7000 petitioners now feel that Cllr Hodge and Mr Munro are hiding important information from the public. They question whether it is acceptable that our public servants can choose to ignore the public if they so wish.
The most common question the campaign has received is from people in Caterham who ask "why has Cllr Hodge got 12 street lights on down the street where he lives when the rest of us are in total darkness?" To date this question remains unanswered.
You can sign the campaign petition
You can join the campaign Facebook group
You can visit the campaign website at www.surreylights.uk
© Surrey Lights UK 2017 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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