UEA’s student union has released a Change.org petition to keep residential street lights on later in Norwich.
Currently, Norfolk County Council’s Part Night Lighting scheme turns off 86 percent of Norwich’s street lights between midnight and 5am.
The lights-off plan was enacted owing to funding cuts and a desire to limit carbon emissions.
However, the SU have claimed this makes students feel unsafe walking home and argue that, “Norwich residents should be able to walk home at night without being scared, unsafe or uncomfortable.”
The SU have said that it is often younger people who have walk home late, “Whether that’s from the library, their work in the City or a night out” and regular taxis for one start to cut into the limited funds students have quite quickly, leaving them vulnerable. The petition quotes one female UEA student saying: “If I’m walking after a certain time there are very few lights and I fear other people attacking me.”The SU states whilst they are aware of no figures indicating a significant increase in crime since the lights-off policy: “we know that street harassment and being followed are often not reported to the police for many reasons.”The petition had just over 200 signatures, at the time Concrete went to print, and is aiming for 500.