Council appeal after streetlights and CCTV column cut down

Published Monday, 25th March 2024

Council officials in Hartlepool have issued an appeal after a series of incidents in which two streetlights and a CCTV column were chopped down.

They are asking anyone with information to contact Cleveland Police immediately on 101.

Streetlights which also had traffic monitoring cameras attached to them, were cut down on Seaton Lane on 5th March and on Coronation Drive on 22nd February. The CCTV column in Thomlinson Road was cut down overnight between 20th and 21st March.

Equipment such as an angle grinder is believed to have been used to cut through the metal columns which were then left dumped at the scene with their lights and cameras still attached.

Some 16 streetlight columns on the Longhill Industrial Estate have also been tampered with and their fuses removed.

Kieran Bostock, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Assistant Director – Neighbourhood Services, said: “I am shocked that people would commit such mindless and reckless vandalism which has the potential to put the lives of those responsible and members of the public at risk.

“In chopping down the roadside columns, the vandals had to cut through live wires and they had no control over where the severed columns would fall.

“The vandalism has also inconvenienced members of the public in terms of the streetlights being out, and it has also left the Council facing a hefty bill.

 “We are at a loss to understand the vandals’ motives, but perhaps they thought the cameras on the streetlights were of the type used to identify polluting vehicles in the ultra-low emission zones that exist in London and other cities. Of course, Hartlepool doesn’t have any such zones. The cameras on the damaged streetlights were simply being used to count passing vehicles.

“Although these incidents almost certainly happened at night, the streetlights were on busy roads – one of them close to homes - and people may have seen something. The vandalism may also have been recorded on residents’ doorbell cameras. I would urge anyone with information to contact the police.”