3 Replies to “Latest Kenilworth Update (July 2013) published”

  1. Thanks for the updates and all the useful information about how we can protect ourselves against theft and burglary. However, there appears to be no mention of the compromise to community safety that has been imposed on us by the County Council decision to switch off our street lights at night. We have lived in Bullimore Grove for 26 years in relative safety; now we are under attack from thieves and burglars at night because it is pitch black so they can and do move about confidently and with minimal risk of being seen. What are we going to do about that?

    1. Thank you for kind comments about the information provided, it is much appreciated. In the latest Kenilworth Update, published earlier this week, there is indeed mention of the street lights issue and the current information available. The policy of Part Lighting is one, as you rightly refer, implemented by the Highway Authority, Warwickshire County Council. I would caution suggesting any link to Part Lighting and crime as the facts do not support it. I do understand how the perception can be arrived at, but evidence is gathering that suggests it has reduced crime in some areas and no parts increased it. Having operated a Neighbourhood Watch scheme for 25 years I would say we have always experienced crime in Kenilworth, as indeed every area does from time to time. This was the case throughout the 24 years we had overnight lighting, indeed the Knights Meadow estate has been targeted at least twice in ten years by alloy wheel thieves who removed wheels from cars situated on private drives that were covered by street lights.

      Once one thinks a little more about the part lighting scheme and its effects, criminals cannot move round easier. They cannot see any better than you and I and therefore have to draw attention to themselves by using something to provide light. This may well be why crime has been seen to drop in some of the areas where part lighting has been implemented. A burglary that took place in Kenilworth within the last 10 days occurred in the town centre where the lights remain on. If you remain concerned about the policy then I can only advise you contact the County Council or your County Councillor Alan Cockburn. From Neighbourhood Watch’s point of view we are not prepared to become involved because so far there is not a correlation between part lighting and crime.

      I am dismayed that you feel ‘under attack from thieves in Bullimore Grove’ as you put it. Crime levels in Warwickshire are some of the lowest in the UK and Kenilworth remains a ‘low crime’ area within the county itself. I have checked through the statistics I have to hand that go back over several years. Across the town crime is low and the Bullimore Grove area certainly has a lower level than certain other parts of the town. I am not diminishing any crime that has been experienced and I do know that there was a burglary in the Bullimore Grove area recently. What I would say is from my perspective, looking at the town overall, I would not agree that evidence of crime exists to warrant a description that Bullimore Grove is ‘under attack’ from thieves.

      You end your message with a question as “what are we going to do about that?” That is for the residents of Bullimore Grove to answer, with respect not me. I have willingly given up several hours of my time to compile a dedicated information newsletter about Bullimore Grove for circulation via John Dixon. So far 4 residents out of 67 homes have come forward requesting Smartwater. Upon delivery of Smartwater to them they all said they did not believe there was a serious problem specific to Bullimore Grove but they wanted to follow advice and put a deterrent in place. I can only assume that many of the other residents already have Smartwater, although if so, many have not put up the stickers in their windows to say so which is a key element of using it and it being a deterrent. Alternatively, they have not got Smartwater and are not sufficiently persuaded of the fact, that by their own actions in putting a deterrent in place, they stand the best chance of avoiding becoming a victim of crime.

      Speaking quite openly, frankly and with respect it is very unlikely that street lights, on or off, will deter a burglar but forensic marking devices such as Smartwater most certainly does put them off. This is why organisations like Network Rail, Western Power, Transco National Grid and Severn Trent use it to protect their property.

      Thank you for taking the time to send in your comments.

      1. Dear Fraser,
        Thank you for your response. I have now looked at the Kenilworth Update and with regard to the section regarding street lighting, I wonder if you could tell me how I could get hold of the data for the Bristol crime survey that is refered to in the piece?
        Trevor Martin

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