A RESIDENT of Broadpark in Okehampton has expressed concerns about the lack of night-time street lighting following an incident which involved criminal damage to his car.

Last week resident Sean Sandercock told the Times that his car windscreen had been smashed with a brick during the hours of darkness on Wednesday morning and that he had reported the incident to the police.

He said: ‘I had my car windscreen smashed in the early hours of the morning. I don’t know who would have done it but as there were no street lights, my neighbours who heard the bang were unable to see the culprit.

‘I reported it to the police. I’ve contacted the council about the street lights, and I also intend to email Devon County Council with my concerns.’

Sean said that once the street lights on Broadpark were on all night, which was much safer. He believed that the street lights switched off at around midnight and were not on again until the following night.

‘I can’t believe that with steps going down a steep path there are no street lights — it is so dangerous. I can’t even see my car which is 10 feet from my front door!

‘I have injured myself many times tripping over the kerb in the early hours when I leave for work as it is so dark. It’s a real safety issue.

‘I’ve just had to install a CCTV system to watch my car and house as I do not want this to happen again. Had the street lights been on my neighbours would have been able to see the criminal.’

According to Devon County Council the street lights in Broadpark are switched off between 12.30am and 5.30am as part of a part-night lighting scheme.

In 2013 the council introduced the part-night lighting policy. This was to reduce carbon emissions in accordance with government targets and energy consumption.

A Devon County Council spokesperson said: ‘The six street lights in Broadpark were converted to part-night lighting in 2013 and since then we have received no complaints, apart from the reporting of lamp failures.

Since 2013 the only lamps reported faulty were replaced a few days ago and another which had a fault in 2013. 

‘Devon County Council has an online system showing the status of its street lights which currently shows no faults.’

The part-night lighting has gradually been introduced across the county since January 2010 in both rural and urban areas, including Exmouth, Newton Abbot, Ilfracombe, Northam, Bideford, Crediton, Honiton, Tavistock, Exeter and Barnstaple.

The ‘Tough Choices’ consultation, which took place across Devon, invited comment on the council’s spending cuts proposals and around 35,000 people responded.

According to Devon County Council these people thought that looking after children, care services for the elderly and disabled and support for carers were the most important services not to be cut, while street lighting was one of the services considered to be less important and could be cut.

A Devon County Council spokesperson said that the council might reverse this decision if a referral was received from the police or a councillor over a security or health and safety issue.

For more information about street lighting visit https://new.devon.gov.uk/streetlighting/part-night-lighting/

Anyone with information about the incident involving criminal damage in Broadpark is asked to contact police on 101, quoting crime reference number CR/002496/17.