Plan to make Eastgate Street safer at night
WIDER CCTV coverage and improved lighting at night are needed to make Gloucester city centre a safer place.
That is the message from councillors and business leaders who have launched a campaign to rid Eastgate Street of murky corners which they say can be a catalyst for crime.
It comes as police investigate the rape of a Stroud woman between Liquid nightclub and the back of GL1 in Bruton Way in the early hours of September 8.
Bar workers said an overhaul of the area was needed to stamp out crime.
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Justin Hudson, owner of Butler's bar, in Eastgate Street, said: "A vile crime like this rape gives people a bad impression of the night-time trade. There is certainly plenty we could do to make the area safer at night.
"The first thing they need to do is improve the street lighting at night. Eastgate Street is one of the darkest streets in Gloucester and many of the street lights haven't been working for years. It's not good enough."
An action group has been set up to drive through improvements to the area. Comprising city and county council officers, business leaders and police, it will carry out a public consultation over the coming weeks.
City councillor Jennie Dallimore, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods, said: "The physical environment gives the feeling of being unsafe, so lighting, CCTV, and the space itself all require attention."
A spokesman for the police said: "The general network of council-owned CCTV cameras in Gloucester is very good and images from them often help officers investigating a range of crimes from across the city. In terms of street lighting, we do think there is room for improvement in Eastgate Street."