A petition to keep street lights on for longer in residential areas in Lincoln has now been signed by 229 people. It was created last week by student Ellie Sykes with the aim to keep students safer. It will be running until May next year.
Creator of the petition, Ellie, 21, said: “I think what made me want to start it was the time I actually walked straight into a bin because I genuinely didn’t see it! Having spoke to some other girls about not feeling safe walking home in the darkness I realised that it was actually really common. Then some girls approached me about times they have been followed, approached, cat called, even approached by people in dark cars! It really made me worry about the safety of us vulnerable students.”
A number of groups have contributed to the petition to improve safety around the city. It isn’t the first of it’s kind which has set out with the aim to keep the people of Lincoln safer. The ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign, originally formed in Lincolnshire, received global attention after being shared on social media by celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher. The campaign encourages people to discretely ask for help at bars using the phrase ‘can I speak to Angela?’.
Additionally, the Lincoln Girl Gang Facebook group was formed by student Amber Marshall in October to give girls a support system on the city streets. The idea is that girls can message, call or reach out to someone whether it be to walk home or just chat. Ms Marshall voiced her support for the petition, saying it was “time for change.”
Councillor Richard Davies, Executive Manager for Highways, said: “We realise some people may still be nervous about the streetlighting changes, and we are sympathetic to that. However, there’s no evidence that Lincolnshire has become any less safe as a result, a view supported by Lincolnshire Police. So it’s difficult to justify taking money away from other vital services to turn the lights back on overnight.”
Between October 2017 and September 2018 there were 647 reported cases of violence and sexual assault in Lincoln. The recent reports of ‘clown scaring’ around the city have also raised much concern. One student posted to the Facebook group ‘Overheard at Lincoln’ stating she ‘had to make a 999 call at about 9.45pm’ after being followed by a man in a clown costume on her way home.
To find out more about the petition click here.