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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 22:30 GMT
Residents' Christmas lights plea
A group of residents have offered to pay a neighbour to forgo a charity Christmas lights display which attracts hundreds of visitors.

The householders in a private road in Sonning, Berkshire, have told police they will "pass a hat around" to halt Vic Moszcyznski's "dramatic spectacle".

More than 1,000 cars drove past the festive house every night for six weeks last Christmas, said police.

The lights have now been blamed for causing a "mini-crime wave".

The spectators it draws have been blamed for vandalism, theft, violence and other forms of anti-social behaviour.

The neighbours started telling us that the lights were bringing the wrong sort of people, I see that as snobbery to be honest
Mr Vic Moszcyznski's daughter Justine,
Thames Valley Police said more than 40 crimes committed in the area last year were "directly linked" to the lights.

Chief Inspector Lindsey Finch has denied threatening to impose an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Asbo) on Mr Moszcyznski if he does not dim his display.

"It remains an option to explore, but Asbos can take months of work and are not tools we have in our back pocket to impose on people as and when we feel like it," she said.

Mr Moszcyznski's display raised 5,000 for Daisy's Dream, a local charity working with bereaved children.

Ms Finch said residents had mooted the possibility of Mr Moszcyznski staging a light show elsewhere or even passing around the hat themselves.

'Reneged on agreement'

"They have offered to donate a sum of money - which was more than that usually raised by the event - to the charity," she added.

"Although initially agreed by Mr Moszcyznski, he has since reneged on the agreement and in fact asked for more money over an extended period of time to guarantee him not putting up the lights."

Mr Moszcyznski's daughter Justine, 18, said: "The police said that they offered us money to get rid of the Christmas lights, but my dad told them it's not about the money.

"The lights started even before the charity was mentioned, people used to come and look at our lights.

"The neighbours started telling us that the lights were bringing the wrong sort of people.

"We live in a private road, I see that as snobbery to be honest."

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