People may fear that they are at an increased risk of crime although there is no evidence that there is an increased risk.
This is important because fear of crime can influence people’s behavior – for example by deterring them from going out after dark. People may also feel less safe at home. Since 2006 the Council has undertaken regular surveys of public attitudes. The survey questions were originally prescribed by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Council was required to carry out a postal survey of a balanced sample of residents (although each resident is randomly selected). One of the questions in the survey asks people if they feel safe in their own area outside after dark. Results of the study show that between 2006 and 2013 Uttlesford and Maldon districts both experienced a significant increase in people who say they feel safe after dark. Unfortunately, this survey was not conducted before 2006. The results clearly show that the introduction of part night lighting has had no long term impact on fear of crime. Indeed the increase in the percentage of people feeling safe outside after dark has increased in Maldon and Uttlesford more than in other areas. As previously explained above regarding public safety – consultation with the Emergency Services has been conducted and in addition, an Equality Impact Assessment has also been conducted in line with Essex County Council’s change processes, this considers the risks to protected groups.