Pickles' 'love' of switch-offs not enough to stop police turning lights back on

A spate of burglaries has prompted Essex Police to switch streetlights back on in the constituency of communities secretary Eric Pickles - who recently declared his 'love' for streetlight switch-offs.

The police have ordered the streetlights to be turned back on along four streets in Brentwood, Essex due to a spike in burglaries, only weeks after Pickles expressed his fondness of the switch-offs in his area.

A spokesman for Essex Police told Lux: There has been an increase in the number of burglaries in the Pilgrims Hatch area over the past few weeks. As a preventative measure we have asked for the street lights in that area to be kept on. This is just one tactic we are using to manage this problem in this area.'

Eric Pickles made headlines two weeks ago when he told councillors he ‘loved’ the streetlight switch-offs in the area and that the dark streets would deter criminals.

Essex Police appear to disagree and have ordered the streetlights in the Pilgrims Hatch area of Brentford to be restored at night after 17 homes in the area were burgled.

 The police told The Telegraph that, while they were unable to make a direct link between the switch-offs and the rise in crime, they had been asked to intervene by residents in the area who felt ‘vulnerable.’

The spokesperson for Essex Police told Lux: 'We will monitor with interest the consequences of any changes in the patterns of street lighting for any impact on both crime and peoples’ fear of crime.'

Photo: Conservative Party

This article was updated on 3 June to include statements from Essex Police.