POLL: Does public lighting attract anti-social behaviour in parks or help people to avoid it?

This argument came up in a Laois Council meeting

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

POLL: Does public lighting attract anti-social behaviour in parks or help people to avoid anti-social behaviour

POLL: Does public lighting attract anti-social behaviour in parks or help people to avoid anti-social behaviour

Yes lighting attracts anti-social behaviour.

No lighting does not attract anti-social behaviour.

There was a disagreement between Laois County Council and Cllr Ben Brennan at the Portarlington/Graiguecullen Municipal District meeting on Wednesday, November 15. 

Cllr Ben Brennan asked that Laois County Council provide a light at the playground in Ballylinan as he said there is anti-social behaviour going on there and claimed that a person suffered serious injuries there recently when they were attacked by a gang of youths. 

"I know people that were attacked, one man has a broken ankle and a fracture under his eye. It is very serious, don't put in an amenity if you are not going to light it up. It should be lit up or closed down. 

"It is not good enough, you need light shining into a playground. They are going to congregate regardless, if you have a light at least you can see them," Cllr Brennan said. 

Anne Marie Maher from the Sport and Leisure Office in Laois County Council responded to Cllr Brennan and said that it would not be the Council's intention to install lighting.

Gerry Murphy from Laois County Council explained at the meeting that from the Council's point of view having lights shining into playgrounds draws people in and encourages them to gather when they have no where else to go, encouraging anti-social behaviour in the area. 

Cllr Padraig Fleming supported Cllr Ben Brennan and said the assault that happened near Ballylinan playground was serious.

Cllr Fleming said that lights are needed along the road outside of the playground which would also shine into the playground, helping people walking past to see any oncoming dangers. 

"There was definitely a serious assault causing serious injury, they came out from the park, lights should go out onto the road. It is a pity it happened, the road should have more lights," he said.

Cllr Brennan said that at the moment there is no light shining into the playground or outside it on the road. He added that the new lights do not shine anywhere other than straight down wherever they are erected. 

Take our poll and have your say - do you think that lighting up a public space like a playground attracts anti-social behaviour or can prevent people from getting hurt because they can see places to avoid? 

Please discuss your point of view in the Facebook comments or on Twitter. 

There have been numerous reports and evidence of anti-social bahviour around the county recently. 

The park in portarlington has been destroyed, swings and seats have been set on fire and empty beers cans are left around while children are intimidated by gangs of youths and young adults in the playground. 

Cllr Aidan Mullins has asked Laois County Council to provide CCTV and public lighting to combat this.

Read more: 'It just takes a few idiots to destroy it for everybody' Laois Cllr wants CCTV in public park.

Rural Laois area suffering from anti-social behaviour as 'there is no policeman on duty'.