Council to push for changes to street lighting following reported rape

The junction of Maidenburgh Street and George Street, Colchester was cordoned off on Saturday Pictur

The junction of Maidenburgh Street and George Street, Colchester was cordoned off on Saturday Picture: BOB RUSSELL - Credit: Archant

Serious conversations need to be had about keeping on Colchester’s street lights, according to public safety chiefs, after a rape was reported in the town over the weekend.

Police were called on Saturday morning following reports that a woman in her 20s was raped and had her phone stolen in George Street at 5.25am.

A cordon was in place for a number of hours following the incident with officers arresting a 21-year-old man from Colchester on Saturday night.

Mike Lilley, portfolio holder for planning public safety and licensing for Colchester Borough Council said that lighting in the area was now an important concern for the council.

“It’s a really terrible thing to happen in Colchester, especially near the Dutch quarter,” said Mr Lilley.

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“This area is about 20 yards from the high street where the lights are on.

“It’s a worry that incidents are happening in the dark areas.”

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The lights were turned off in the vicinity earlier in the year but had recently been turned on again after requests by police following a stabbing on George Street in February.

Mr Lilley said it was time that serious conversations were had about keeping the lights on full-time.

“We will be trying to ask Essex County Council to keep the lights on permanently,” said Mr Lilley, “because what CCTV we have got needs to be well illuminated and so that people feel safe.

“Hopefully the person who was attacked makes a speedy recovery and we will see what happens next.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Essex Police’s Adult Sexual Assault Investigations Team North on 101 quoting incident 274 of 16/03.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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