A Kenilworth woman whose house was broken into is taking a stand against the apparent crime rise in the town and changes to certain street lights.
Natalie Bramwell, of Guy Road, has written to Kenilworth and Southam MP Jeremy Wright after her garage and her husband’s van were broken into by burglars last week.
The burglars managed to break into the garage on Wednesday January 3 by forcing the lock off, and then broke into the van, a Vauxhall Vivaro, by cutting a square into the bodywork and pulling it off.
They then took a Makita radio from the van, but nothing else was stolen.
All this was happening while Natalie and her husband Malcolm were in the kitchen.
It was only when her 18-year-old son George drove his car onto the drive at around 8pm that the family realised they had been burgled.
The street lights on Guy Road were recently replaced by new LED lights, which Natalie believes may have contributed to the burglary as she says they do not light the road up enough.
She said: “When the lights come on in the evening, it’s still dark. Our street used to be quite well lit.
“It makes me wonder whether that’s encouraged the burglars to do this.”
Because of this, and of other reports of vehicle thefts in the town in recent days, Natalie has written to Jeremy Wright MP with her concerns.
When asked whether she thinks crime has got worse in Kenilworth, Natalie said: “Definitely, I would say so. You do just feel vulnerable.
“It was quite a shock when they changed the lighting just before Christmas. But it’s not their fault, it’s to do with government cuts. We used to have a police station here.”
In response to her concerns, Mr Wright said: “I have contacted the team responsible for street lighting at Warwickshire County Council who have agreed to speak to Ms Bramwell directly.
“I understand that the police are making ongoing enquiries in relation to these incidents.”
And a spokesman for Warwickshire County Council said existing street lighting is currently being replaced with more efficient LED lighting across the county, and also said that residents are not consulted if nearby street lights are set to change.
He added: “The lighting on Guy Road prior to the installation of the new LED lights was low pressure sodium lighting or SOX. Low pressure sodium lighting is becoming obsolete and will cease production 2020. So it has been considered as a priority that these be upgraded.
“The new lanterns are more efficient and provide a better quality of light white light. The lighting is more directional and should improve lighting on the footway and roadway without throwing light back into non highway areas such as residents’ properties.
“Warwickshire County Council only light the highway and not private areas such as residents’ properties or private garage areas.”