City Council to install temporary lighting on Jesus Green

Image credit: paul bica

The Cambridge City Council have announced today that they will be installing temporary lighting on Jesus Green. This has come after a student-led campaign to improve street lighting was launched after a series of sexual assaults.

Francesca Ebel of The Tab set up a petition calling for more street lighting after 10 sexual assaults occured in nine days. Three women were assaulted on Sunday 26 October, two together and one on their own, in Market Square. On the same night, a man was raped near Christ's Pieces.

Five Libyan soldiers have been charged in connection with some of the attacks. This has lead to the early withdrawal of Libyan soldiers from Bassingbourn Barracks, where they were being trained.

The Tab, along with CUSU Women's Officer Amelia Horgon and City Councillor Daniel Ratcliffe, called on the County Council for more street lighting in the city centre in order to better protect students and residents.

In response to these calls, the City Council have decided to install temporary lighting on the newly widened cycleway in Jesus Green. These will be replaced by 'heritage-style' columns in December.

Cllr Carina O'Reilly told The Cambridge Student: "I am pleased to see that temporary lighting on Jesus Green is to be installed shortly, as this has been of real concern to residents."

However, she also criticised the County Council, saying: "Ultimately it's a County responsibility and we can't make up all their budget cuts in lighting across Cambridge - we are struggling to provide our own services - so this is going to come back again and again."

Last week, Alan Hitch, Strategic Projects Manager at Cambridgeshire County Council, told TCS: “Cambridgeshire County Council has to reduce the amount of energy it uses on street lights to help balance its budget. This will include turning off some street lights for part of the night in residential areas.

“However, we can reassure local people that we will continue to keep lights on overnight in town and city centres and areas with a higher risk of crime and places of risk like remote alley ways where they confirmed by the police.”

Francesca Ebel welcomed the news. Speaking to TCS, she said: "The Tab team set up the petition because we felt that something had to be done urgently about people's safety in Cambridge and wanted to use our platform constructively.

"I'm really pleased that the council have listened and acted quickly. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported it so far."

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