Lurkers in dark lanes will gain: DUP
DISSIDENT republicans, drug abusers, drunks and all manner of lurkers in dark alleys will be the main beneficiary of a policy not to streetlight laneways in Londonderry, according to local DUP Alderman Maurice Devenney.
The former Mayor says the exclusion of back lanes and alleyways from the city’s lighting strategy will provide cover of darkness for those engaged in anti-social behaviour and worse.
Mr Devenney says he has spoken to the local PSNI chief John Burrows about the issue and claims the Foyle Area Commander shared some of his concerns.
The Sentinel asked the police if it had concerns over the safety of officers and the ongoing security threat in the context of the exclusion of back lanes form the lighting strategy.
The PSNI told the paper it would consider all views.
Mr Devenney, who recently welcomed a move by the Department of Regional Development (DRD) to earmark the decades old Tullyally estate for a street lighting upgrade, says he will be asking the Department to reconsider its strategy.
“It’s been brought to my attention that under the new street lighting strategy back alleyways will not be lit,” said the DUP Alderman.
“This will have serious repercussions for the city. We have for years sought to have the back alleways in various parts of the city. Not only is there a problem in terms of anti-social behaviour with drugs and alcohol but there is also the current security situation.”
Mr Devenney says there are concerns about the safety of PSNI officers as a result of the ill-lit areas of some streets and estates.
The DUP Alderman says the current strategy would plunge the city back into the street lighting dark ages of 20 years ago.
“We have fought over the years to have our streets and back alleyways properly illuminated,” he told the Sentinel. “If we decide not to light back lanes and alleys now we will be going back 20 years.”
Mr Devenney says he will be urging DRD to amend its lighting strategy and that he will also be raising the issue at Derry City Council.
But DRD says it has no plans to change tack.
A DRD Roads Service spokeswoman said: “Under Roads Service policy, areas such as footways and footpaths which only give rear access to properties, will generally not be lit.”
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Weather for Londonderry
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west
Temperature: 10 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: West