Lambeth does not record how many requests it receives for extra lighting in parks

By Grainne Cuffe, local democracy reporter

Lambeth Council does not keep records of the number of requests it receives for extra lighting in parks.

It come as a petition launched to “maximise lighting on Clapham Common to improve safety” in the wake of Sarah Everard’s disappearance and murder is approaching 30,000 signatures. 

In response to a Freedom of Information request from the local democracy service on the figures, the council said it does not hold the information “as we do not keep formal records of requests for increasing lighting in parks”.  

A spokesperson said “the council notes their content, but does formally record how many are received”.  

Ms Everard went missing on March 3 after leaving a friend’s house near Clapham Common to walk home. Her body was found on March 10.  

Met Police officer Wayne Couzens has been charged with Ms Everard’s kidnap and murder.  

Those behind the petition called on Lambeth to “take urgent action to provide sufficient lighting to cover all areas of the common, so that we feel safe to continue to use what currently stands as a wonderful outdoor space on many of our doorsteps”. 

The council has since installed extra lighting on the Common and is working with the police on whether CCTV should be installed.  

A spokesperson said: “The thoughts of the council and our communities are with the family and friends of Sarah Everard at this incredible difficult and traumatic time.  

“Lambeth Council is in close contact with the Met Police about the ongoing investigation, and are fully playing our role in supporting their efforts.

“It is understandable that this case has increased local women’s concerns about personal safety, and for some will have triggered memories of past trauma.

“We are working with the police on community reassurance and are currently reviewing if further local action needs undertaking, including in regard to lighting and CCTV.

“That includes work already underway to put extra lighting in at Clapham Common.

“Lambeth Council is fully committed to tackling violence against women and girls, and details of our support information in regard to all forms of gender-based violence is on the council website at lambeth.gov.uk.” 

Lighting in parks to improve safety is an issue on contention – some argue that it would be detrimental to nocturnal wildlife and that there is not sufficient evidence that it deters crime.   

 


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