Streets in Carlisle and Barrow have received improved lighting to help residents feel safer and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
New and improved lighting is just one of the projects that have been made possible following a successful bid by Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, for £760,108 from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund Round Four.
Carlisle’s Mary Street, Collier Street, Rosemary Lane, Keenan Park, and Bitts Park Skate Park have all benefitted from upgraded lighting after being highlighted as having poor lighting. Police reports also detailed that people were using the lack of light to hide undesirable behaviour including drug taking, urinating, and littering with the darkness hindering police patrols being able to catch crime and ASB in action.
Before the project began, young people in the area told us that they would have preferred to stay in the park and skatepark later but due to lack of light they had to move on to better lit streets. This led to reports from residents of items being thrown at their property and at passing buses, intimidation, and storage containers being climbed over. With the new lighting, Police have found that more young people using the facilities and this number continues to grow.
In Barrow-in-Furness many back lanes have received brand new lighting including those near Buccleugh Street, Scott Street, Cavendish Street, Grange Crescent, Cartmel Crescent, Preston Street, Fell Street, Fenton Street, Vulcan Road and Brathay Crescent. These new lights aim to make the backstreets feel safer for residents to use at night and reduce undesirable behaviour that was reported in the area including drug use, underage drinking, urinating, littering and damage.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Safer Streets funding being used to shine a light on anti-social behaviour in these communities.
“There are studies that show crime and anti-social behaviour reduce when street lighting is improved so I hope residents in Carlisle and Barrow will see the benefits and feel safer walking the streets and the parks later at night.
“Providing better lighting in the parks will provide our young people with a safe place to spend their time to play sports and meet socially while taking them off residential streets where they can, intentionally or unintentionally, cause intimidation and anti-social behaviour.
“The Safer Streets Fund truly is focused funding to help strengthen our communities, instil a sense of pride in our local areas, reduce crime and make all residents feel safer.
“This is a good example of partnership work between my office, the Police and Cumbria County Council and I look forward to continue working towards safer communities with the Safer Streets Fund.”
Chief Superintendent Lisa Hogan, Cumbria Constabulary, said: “We very much welcome the improvements to street lighting in both Barrow and Carlisle.
“This will help prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. It may also increase how safe people feel in these communities.
“Our neighbourhood policing teams across the county work very closely with partner agencies, including the relevant local authority. This work is done to ensure that we improve the quality of life for our communities.
“Crucially, our neighbourhood officers and PCSOs work closely with the people they serve. They listen to concerns and will do all they can to act upon these in order to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. I would encourage you to please engage with our teams so together we can all play our part to keep people safe in our county.”
A county council spokesperson said: “We were delighted to work alongside the Police and Crime Commissioner to upgrade the street lighting to help make these areas feel safer and prevent instances of anti-social behaviour.
“These unique locations have allowed us to implement the most recent technology in solar and colour changing LED lighting. This has been our third successful year working in partnership with PCC and we will look forward to continuing this relationship on any future bids.”