POLICE have seen no increase in crime in Portchester since overnight street lighting was turned off across Hampshire - with 12 car and residential break-ins occurring since the change.
PSCO for Portchester, Sophie Carter, told residents at a community action meeting this week that police were investigating six residential burglaries and six thefts from vehicles over the last three months.
She said the police had ‘not seen an increase in crime’ in the area ‘since the lights have been turned off.’
Since April 1, Hampshire County Council has turned off street lighting on residential roads between the hours of 1am and 4am every night to save £230,000 a year.
Victims of the recent overnight crimes across Fareham are concerned the lack of lighting is making life easier for criminals.
David Nevett said burglars took advantage of the ‘pitch black’ conditions after street lights were shut off to ransack his home in Jubilee Road, Portchester, last month.
The 72-year-old was asleep while thieves broke into his house and took credit cards, cash and irreplaceable pictures stored on a mobile phone.
He said: ‘I was very scared - it makes you feel like you go to bed at night and you are not safe in your own home.’
Dave Hayden, who lives in Clydesdale Road, said his car being broken into was ‘100 per cent connected to the street lights going off.’
He said: ‘I thought there would be more of a reaction from the council.’
Addressing the recent crimes in Portchester, Inspector Sarah Nicholson said: ‘These incidents were not part of a wider series, and one report was later deemed to have not been a crime.
‘We would like to reassure our communities that no burglaries have been reported in Portchester since 26 May, and there have been no reports of cars being broken into since 22 April.
‘Our officers have been engaging with local people in Portchester, offering crime prevention advice and tackling the issues that you have brought to our attention.’