Bid To Undim Street Lights In Crime 'Hotspot' Areas Fails
'Disappointed' councillors told it may not happen until autumn
Local councillors say they are disappointed that Hounslow Council has not undimmed street lights in 'crime hotspot' areas of Chiswick. The measure, which was to be a first step in combating muggings and attacks carried out under cover of darkness, may not be implemented until the autumn.
With the follow up meeting on crime and policing scheduled for this Thursday (28 March) in Chiswick Town Hall, (senior Police Officer Gary Taylor is to make a return visit), councillors feel they were 'misled' that the lights had already been undimmed.
Cllr Ranjit Gill said he understood that there had been no request from the police to the Council. "It does appear that I was misinformed earlier and this is very disappointing indeed. I am raising this with the police on the follow up meeting on the 28th and also with the LBH officer who will be attending the meeting .
"In view of the muggings and the crime in the area I can't understand why the Council has not made this decision on their own without a request from the police . The Council needs to undim the lights to safeguard the security and well being of its residents and the users of Rock's Lane sports centre and also not just in Chiswick but in the the whole borough. I understand that this might be done by next Autumn."
He said he understood that the lights on the Pathway have been changed to LED lights as promised. He is arranging to meet with the local Police Sergeant to identify the dark areas of Chiswick which need better lighting. Residents can email him to notify him of areas they are concerned about.
The area near Turnham Green tube station, Chiswick Back Common and Bedford Park, had become a hotspot for muggings, with young people and schoolchildren being targets, particularly for their phones.
The manager of the Rocks Lane Multisports Centre, Barry Murphy said: "I am very disappointed to hear this news. After meeting with both the police and the council on two separate occasions in February, I was informed that they would undim the lights.
"We are pleased with the progress the police have made in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in the area but this seems like a backward step. I urge the council to make a quick decision on this as I fear we will be having the same conversation this time next year."
Police have been carrying out high visibility patrols in the area, including at the two local tube stations. Several knives have been recovered following 'Stop and Search' operations, and arrests have been made. Highly trained Police Interceptor teams have also been sent to the area to back up teams from the Triborough West Command. However, while some reports suggest the measures have yielded success, there has been concern that the problem may have moved to other areas, following reports of muggings in the Chiswick House and Gardens area. Police confirmed one such mugging of a teenager in the grounds of the Gardens.
Supt. Gary Taylor, the Deputy (Tri) Borough Commander, and his locally based colleagues are returning to the follow-up meeting to update residents on the results of their increased operations in the area. As well as this, there is the opportunity for residents to address questions to Mr Taylor on the future of policing in Chiswick.
The doors will open at 7.00pm and the meeting will start promptly at 7.30pm. The aim is for the formal questions and answers to finish around 9.00pm. Written questions will be accepted in advance. Please email any questions or short statements to email@example.com
Police have advised residents to use the OWL neighbourhood messaging service to report any crime or as a means to check out the latest information.
Book a free ticket for the meeting via Eventbrite. This will secure access to the venue and give some idea of the numbers to be catered for.