A CITY resident is starting a campaign to stop Devon's part-night street lights scheme being introduced across Exeter.
Andrew Elston, who lives in the West Garth area of the city, said turning off lights at night will lead to an increase in crime and suggests, instead, that only a proportion of lights in any one area are switched off.
Devon County Council is due to start public consultations next month on plans to switch residential street lights off between 12.30am and 5.30am.
Mr Elston said: "If you look at a new estate like the Rydons the street lights are spaced much further apart than they are on the older estates in the city.
"Rather than turning off all the lights at night it would be better to mimic the new estates and perhaps turn off just, say two in every three. All it would need would be for engineers to take the head fuses out of the lights that were to go off. It would still save the county council money.
Mr Elston added: "Turning them all off is ridiculous and what happens if there is a spike in crime as a result of the lights being switched off?
"I really want to kick up a stink about this and encourage everyone who is against this scheme to write to the county council with their objections."
Yolonda Henson, city councillor for Polsloe and leader of the city's Conservatives, does not think part night lighting is suitable for Exeter and put a motion before the city council in December 2010 saying that the scheme must not be introduced without full consultation with residents.
Cllr Henson said: "Mr Elston has a point because we do have to find a compromise on this – we would have a serious problem if it meant that people stopped going out at night.
"And surely people have a right to walk in safety if they do go out."
A spokesman for Devon County Council said: "We are keen to hear what residents have to say on proposals for part-night lighting in residential areas of Exeter, and will be launching an extensive public consultation next month.
"A series of public meetings and exhibitions are planned across the city, so people can find out about the background and reasoning behind the initiative, including how part-night lighting fits in with the wider package of energy-saving measures the county council is implementing, such as the use of low energy equipment and sophisticated lighting control systems. The exhibitions will allow residents to discuss any concerns they may have.
"There will also be the option for people to submit their thoughts and suggestions online, via a dedicated website."