OTTERY to turn out lights on anti-social behaviour

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 September 2008 | UPDATED: 11:12 17 June 2010

LIGHTING in two problem Ottery St Mary car parks will be switched off in a bid to curb persistent anti-social behaviour in the town.

LIGHTING in two problem Ottery St Mary car parks will be switched off in a bid to curb persistent anti-social behaviour in the town.

Plans to turn off streetlights in both the Land of Canaan and Hind Street car parks from 11pm to 6am daily are "being processed" but definitely will happen.

The action is being taken to curb boy racers, wheel spinning and youths congregating at both sites, problems described by Councillor Dr Robert Baker as a "public safety issue."

At an East Devon District Council meeting last Wednesday, Len Wright, EDDCs senior car park inspector said: "At a recent meeting we discussed proposals to turn lighting off.....Insurers recommended we carry out a risk assessment before we progress to justify this and we have..... The general risks to the public are relatively low. We can proceed with the venture and to that end I will put signs up to notify the public. It is now a matter of waiting for a contractor to put in time switches."

Exceptions will be made for events such as Tar Barrels and Ottery's Carnival where lights will remain on. There will still be 24-hour access to the car parks.

Police Inspector Jim Gale described the plans as "innovative", whilst Cllr Roger Giles welcomed the progress. He said: "It will reduce the problem and reduce the town's carbon footprint as well."

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Read more in Tommorow's Herald

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