Night time crime has gone up by 40 per cent in Epsom and Ewell since the streetlights were turned off in February.

Police statistics show there were 342 crimes recorded between midnight and 5am from March 1 to July 24 this year, compared to 245 during the same period in 2016 and 251 in 2015.

Some lights in the borough went off during those hours in February, with a further set being turned off on July 26, after the published data was collected.

Surrey County Council made the controversial decision to turn off lights across the county in an effort to save £210,000 a year.

A county council spokesman said: “Due to the ever-increasing demand for our services, coupled with a reduction in government funding, we made the tough decision to turn off streetlights in quiet areas with low amounts of traffic in the early hours.

"We worked with Surrey Police on this and kept on lights in areas where concerns were raised to help ensure that our residents’ safety is not compromised.”

Councillor Eber Kington, who requested the data be compiled, has urged residents who want to see the lights come back on to contact the county council.

He said: “I was getting lots of messages from people anxious and angry about the situation. I’m still getting far too many people coming to me with stories about this.

“First I would encourage everyone to make sure crime is reported. We need those stats. Second, people who feel strongly about it should make use of the review service on the council website.

“That has to give a message that people are not willing to accept that in the modern day we have to have the streetlights off at night.”