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'I warned council broken streetlights would lead to burglaries'

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A HOUSE was burgled just days after a neighbour warned broken street lights would attract thieves to their South Croydon road.

Gerard O'Gorman, 59, of St Peter's Street, wrote to the Advertiser last Friday to complain about his pitch-black road and said it could lead to an increase in crime.

Just two days later, Steve Bonner, 46, and Les Sanders, 47, were burgled in the middle of the night by opportunistic thieves.

Mr O'Gorman had warned: "Just thought I would let you know as two nights without lighting could lead to crime and or accidents."

And with the lights still out two nights later, burglars forced entry and helped themselves to an iPad, two mobile phones and a new watch from Mr Bonner and Mr Sanders' home.

Mr Bonner said: "We were both sound asleep and heard nothing – the watch didn't cost much but, you know, it is still my watch.

"I think not having lights in our road has made it far more of a target for burglars. People say burglars are out more when people are on holiday, but we were at home."

And Mr Bonner, who like Mr Sanders works for Marks & Spencer, said it was a frightening experience.

He added: "It's really awful being burgled, not just for the stuff that was stolen, but just knowing that people were walking around your house while you slept. It's scary.

"The people who operate the lights should fix them immediately."

Just two weeks ago, people complained streetlights in the same road were on full beam at all times during the day – needlessy increasing the cost to taxpayers.

Mr O'Gorman, a practice manager for a solicitors firm, said he has been in touch with Croydon Council, which said it was the responsibility of its contractor, Skansa.

Skansa then told him it is only responsible for the lighting units, and that UK Power Networks is in charge of the electricity supply.

UK Power refused to speak to Mr O'Gorman because its contract was with the council, which then finally said it would take action.

Mr O'Gorman said: "It's very poor from everyone involved. They've been passing the buck all over the place.

"There could be a serious accident because it is a cut-through road for cars and pedestrians.

"On the council website, they say it is a 24-hour callout service. Well, it has been a week and we're still waiting.

"You can't for definite say the burglary happened as a direct result of the lights being out, but we've lived here for eight years and I don't recall a burglary in the street."

A council spokeswoman said UK Power Networks had been made aware of the problem.

'I warned council broken streetlights would lead to burglaries'


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