Call for more street lighting and CCTV to help reduce night-time attacks
- Credit: Archant
More street lighting and CCTV cameras are being demanded after an alleged sexual assault in an alleyway - hours after a march against sexual violence.
On Saturday, November 17 hundreds of women marched through the centre of Colchester calling for an end to violence against women.
At 3.20am on Sunday, November 18 a woman in her 20s alleged being sexually assaulted in a side street in the town centre, meters from the route of the march in St Botholph’s Church Walk.
Darius Laws, leader of the Colchester Conservatives and councillor for the ward the alleged attack occurred in, said: “I think what needs to be looked at, especially in Castle ward, are the key walking routes.
“We need to look at the lighting in these areas and then potentially the CCTV cameras.
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“It doesn’t take a genius to see that any CCTV cameras are going to be hampered by the dark.
“The fact that it happened so soon after the Reclaim the Night march just goes to show that there is more work to be done to make the streets in Colchester safe.
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“We have to accept that if we are going to build a night-time economy for the town, we are going to have people on the streets at night and they need to be kept safe.”
Organised by Colchester-based charity CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse), the Reclaim the Night march on Saturday night aimed to create a safe space for women by filling the streets with light and noise, creating a encouraging and empowering environment.
Sarah Clementson, CARA manager and march organiser, said: “We stood shoulder-to-shoulder to take a stand against male violence towards women.
“We made the hidden visible. We stood together and said this violence is not okay.
“We will not be silenced and this has to stop.”
An Essex Police spokesman said specialist officers were supporting the victim.
“We are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time who saw what happened or has any information that could assist with our investigation to call,” a spokesman said.
People are asked to call 101 quoting incident number 199 of November 18 or to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.