A HAMPSHIRE woman is demanding the county council to turn street lights back on to stop "increasing rates of crime".

Sarisbury Green resident, Andrea Edsell has launched a petition calling on Hampshire County Council to "switch the lights back on".

According to 47-year-old Andrea crime has increased in the Hampshire area and now residents "need to try to help stop it".

Set up alongside friend Sarah Jolliffe the petition covers towns including Locks Heath, Sarisbury Green, Eastleigh and Fair Oak.

Andrea said: "People in the area feel unsafe when the lights are off. Even in their own homes. I would like the council to switch the lights back on. I would not go out if I was by myself because I do not feel safe. There is a lot of anti-social behaviour and criminals take advantage of the lights being switched off."

Sarah added: "I have lived in Locks Heath for 32-years but in the last six months have noticed changes. People are having cars stolen and bikes stolen and youngsters are assaulting people.

"There have been a lot of break-ins and crime is getting out of hand. We want the county council to review the light situation and put them back on.

"It is dangerous for people returning home late at night."

Plans to shut off off lighting on residential roads between 1am and 4am every night across Hampshire went ahead in April.

According to Civic chiefs, the move will save £230,000 in energy costs per year.

Executive member for economy, transport and environment at HCC, Cllr Rob Humby said: “The council introduced a policy of switching off street lights between 1am and 4am in residential areas of Hampshire. This followed a public consultation in 2018 during which over two thirds of the residents and 141 organisations who responded supported a three to four hour period during which street lights would be turned off in residential areas, resulting in carbon emission reductions and financial savings needed due to growing demands across council services, particularly in social care. As well as the public consultation, academic research and evidence from other authorities was gathered to inform the decision to make the change and this showed there was no relationship between street lighting times and changes in crime patterns. We work closely with the Police and actively review any arrangements in areas where they express concern.”