An angry Hillmorton woman has branded the county council’s decision to reduce street lighting as “disgusting”.
Retired nurse Gillian Woodhouse, 57, of The Kent, said her street was pitch black during reduced lighting hours, describing it as “terrible”.
Just under two weeks ago, Warwickshire County Council introduced part-night street lighting in Rugby as part of a scheme to save £500,000 across the county.
75 to 80 per cent of street lights are switched off between midnight and 5.30am on weekdays, and between 1am and 6.30am on Saturdays and Sundays.
Mrs Woodhouse said: “This is a huge opportunity for people to go out and break into places when it’s in pitch blackness. It’s stupid
“On our road, we’ve got the exit to the allotments and a scout hut in a wooded area. And then you’ve got the allotments over the back but there’s also an alleyway which isn’t lit up now.
“I worry that people could get in around the back. We’ve been advised to put extra security up, but if a burglar wants to get in, he’ll get in - it doesn’t matter how many security alarms you have fitted.”
Mrs Woodhouse said that a representative from the county council told her that the decision to switch off street lighting would only be reviewed if crime figures rose.
She said: “If there’s any increase in crime, the council will discuss it with the police and then they may do something about it. But until then, the lights are going to remain switched off.”
Cllr Peter Butlin, portfolio holder for transport and highways at Warwickshire County Council, said feedback from other parts of the country where reduced street lighting is in place suggested that it does not increase crime figures.
He said: “We are sure we’re doing the right thing.”