POLICE witness appeal boards are to be cut in use in Lewisham after residents complained the roadside signs are too scary.

The yellow boards are used after incidents such as street robberies and muggings but police have decided residents' feelings must come first.

They say the boards do get results but they will now only be used for major incidents such as murders.

A growing number of complaints from around the borough made up the force's mind it had to cut the boards' use.

Borough commander Chief Superintendent Mike Humphrey said: “We want people to feel they are living in safe environment and not to feel afraid.

“We think it is time to give the public a break as constantly seeing these boards makes people think they are living in a far more dangerous place than they really are.

“I must stress if there is a very serious incident we would still used the boards because it is a very important way for us to get information.”

Despite Lewisham having the lowest overall crime rate of any inner London borough, a recent survey highlighted the extent of residents' fears. When almost 5,000 house-movers were asked why they had chosen to leave the borough, fear of crime was one of the most common answers.