A Case Of Darkness Increasing Crime?

The Echo reports here on how a gang has been stealing power tools from parked van across the Basildon area:

AN organised crime gang is believed to be targeting vehicles across the borough in search of tools after more than 37 cars and vans were broken into in four days.
One woman told how her carpenter husband has been left unable to work after thieves snatched £3,000 worth of equipment.
Eleven of the 37 vehicles which have been broken into since Sunday are Ford Transit vans…

This is very unpleasant for the victims and we hope the police find the gang – and the stolen items.

From a council point of view a quote in the article from the police is interesting:

PC Marek Jaworski, from Basildon’s community policing team, urged van owners to park close to houses when the streetlights are switched off.
He said: “We are making owners of Transit and similar vehicles aware of an increasing trend of attempts to break into these vehicles overnight.
“Across the Basildon district there has been a recent rise in offences of this nature and we are currently analysing these reports to identify any links.
“We would ask owners to please be vigilant and follow basic safety advice. Where possible, remove all valuables from vans overnight. This is not always practical, so where items need to be left in the vehicle please ensure the vehicle is locked and positioned in a busy area where possible.
“We are all aware of part-night lighting which means many areas are in darkness between 1am and 5am. With this in mind owners should look to park vehicles close to houses or areas which remain lit where possible.
“Our officers are patrolling each night to locate those responsible and would ask for the public’s help in reporting any suspicious activity to us.”

In the past Essex County Council have downplayed the risk of any extra crime being caused by streetlights being turned off in the small hours. Maybe this will help cause a re-think. Or at least an admission that there is an extra risk.