Sheffield council: Please light up our parks with street lights

After a woman was assaulted in Weston Park on Monday night, more needs to be done

On Tuesday, the police cordoned off Weston Park due to a serious sexual assault that happened on Monday night. A 21-year-old woman is thought to have been attacked between 10.48pm and 11pm whilst walking through the park.

Since the start of 2016, there has been an increase in reported student sexual assault in Sheffield. Following the most recent attack, something has to change.

Some have asked why she was walking through the park after dark on her own. However, the question we should really be asking is why haven’t Sheffield council lit up the parks with street lights?

Weston Park, Crookes Valley Park and Pondarosa are all within close proximity and situated in central student areas. None of them have sufficient lighting. Sheffield is known as the greenest city in Europe, but after dark, its parks become sinister.

We asked students how safe they feel after Monday’s attack, and the resounding answer was that Sheffield needs more street lights. Second year English Literature student, Alan, said: “Some areas could be made safer by adding more street lights, so if you do find yourself walking alone you don’t feel too unsafe.”

At this time of year, it is not just a question of not being able to take a short cut back after a night out. With the sun setting before 5pm, even walking back from uni or going for an evening jog, is faced with more fear than it ever should be.

We need to make the city safer, so we are no longer so afraid of walking home in the dark.