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Residents fear night-time vandalism will return as street light trial nears end

PUBLISHED: 14:28 03 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:28 03 March 2018

Denmark Road, Beccles at night.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Denmark Road, Beccles at night. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Residents who suffered months of “systematic” night-time vandalism are calling for the police and council to permanently extend a trial which sees street lights kept on all night.

Denmark Road, Beccles at night.
Picture: Nick ButcherDenmark Road, Beccles at night. Picture: Nick Butcher

Since late-January street lights in Denmark Road, Beccles, have been left on throughout the night.

Prior to the scheme, which will end next month, residents would often wake up to find their vehicles damaged – with slashed tyres and scratched paintwork an all too familiar occurrence.

Yet since the trial began no vandalism has been reported.

Liz Casey, Safer Neighbourhood Team inspector for Beccles, said: “We are continuing to monitor the situation closely.

Denmark Road, Beccles at night.
Picture: Nick ButcherDenmark Road, Beccles at night. Picture: Nick Butcher

“At this stage, there have been no further incidents of criminal damage reported.

“The trial will continue for another few weeks after which a decision will be made as to how to move forward permanently.”

Street lights across Suffolk are turned off between midnight and 5.30am and residents are fearful the vandalism will resume as soon the trial ends.

Jade Dickenson, 27, has lived on the road all her life and fell victim to the mindless vandalism before the trial.

She said: “The whole side of our car got keyed. There was a night when all the cars on one side of the street were keyed.

“Another time a lot of people’s tyres were slashed.

“We were in the process of selling the car at the time and had to knock £700 off the asking price.”

Ms Dickenson added: “I haven’t heard of anything since the lights went on – I definitely want them kept on.”

Such sentiments are mirrored by her neighbour Steve Pennington.

Mr Pennington moved to the road last year and has seen vandals damage his van, his wife’s car and his son’s car.

He said: “It’s disgusting – 20 cars along the street have been keyed. It wasn’t a personal attack, it’s systematic.”

“They stabbed the side of my tyres and I couldn’t get to work.

“It is absolutely imperative the lights stay on because the minute they go off it will start all over again.”

Police are continuing work to identify the offenders responsible for the criminal damage and urge anyone with information to call 101.

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