MANY people feel the town centre is not a safe place to be at night, a recent survey by Sedgemoor District Council has shown.

When asked whether they feel safe in the town or village centre after dark, only 53% of respondents in Sedgemoor said they do feel safe.

Over 80% of crimes in Sedgemoor in 2013 happened at night. Of the 3932 crimes reported in Sedgemoor in 2013, 3241 occurred between 8pm and 5am.

In Burnham and Highbridge, a total of 881 crimes happened at night in 2013, and publicans believe the negative impression could harm their business.

Simon Hillman, assistant manager of The Railway in Burnham, said: “There was a few high profile fights in a very short space of time which gave the area a bad name.

“It’s a small group of people who ruin it for everyone. If I went out at night and saw a fight start I would think twice about going out again.”

Andy Sharman, co-ordinator of Somerset Businesses Against Crime (SBAC), said: “It’s almost cancerous. If someone comes into town one night and sees bad behaviour then he tells his friends.

Mr Sharman used to run a pub-watch scheme to help combat troublesome customers in Burnham but had to cancel it just before New Year’s as the majority of its members did not pay their membership fees.

He said: “Pubs are facing all sorts of competition from brewers and supermarkets who are selling alcohol at a loss. They need to think about how to create a positive image for people.”

If you feel unsafe out at night in Burnham or Highbridge, or if you feel perfectly safe, let us know.

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