The council is lobbying to have street-lights turned back on at night.

In 2010 Essex County Council announced plans to switch 70 per cent of Epping Forest's street lamps off at night, as part of a bid to save £6.5m by 2020.

While Essex Police insist that there is no link between dark streets and increased rates of crimes such as burglaries, economic portfolio holder Councillor Gargan Mohindra suggested the district council was unhappy with the current policy.

At a public police and fire service meeting on Thursday (August 2) the Chigwell councillor said: "While street lights are the responsibility of Essex Council Council, we are lobbying internally to get the street lights on.

"Harlow has there's on throughout the night.

"Historically it had to be the whole district or borough. Certain parts of the borough, I'm thinking of Theydon Bois particularly, do not want their lights on at night.

"I live in an urban area and our residents do want them on.

"This is not as easy as it sounds. All I can say is that I will continue to work on it."

Cllr Mohindra's statement came in response to a member of the public, who spoke of spotting regular drug deals outside his house and having to walk down his road equipped with a torch.

The man - who did not give his name - suggested that different areas within Epping Forest should have the chance to decide their lighting policies individually.

He said: "I believe we should have a vote on it in our local areas, and those that want it, have it, and those that don't, don't."